* Loyola University of Chicago Center for Criminal Justice…
One surprising finding coming out of our research on Illinois’ implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act—which, among other big changes, will eliminate the use of cash bail when it goes into effect next year—is that the current cash bail system results in much less pretrial detention than is generally assumed. This is true even when the charges are serious. Statewide, on any given day, almost two-thirds of those with pending felony charges are not in jail custody or under any kind of supervision or monitoring.
This finding casts doubt on a central assumption behind much of the current criticism of the PFA—that the cash bail system protects the community by keeping dangerous people behind bars until their cases are resolved. What we’ve found is that, while it’s true that many people are jailed under the current cash bail system, most jail stays are brief. Most people pass through jails, being held for relatively short periods before bonding out—and that includes people charged with the kinds of serious offenses that are designated “detainable” under the PFA.
We don’t have statewide numbers for this. But data from a range of urban, suburban, and rural counties we’ve examined so far suggest that, under current practice, the majority of those charged with detainable offenses are released within a week.
More Americans say crime is up in their area than at any point over the last five decades, according to new polling from Gallup.
The survey, conducted in October, found 56% of respondents reported crime has increased over the last year in their neighborhood, up from 51% in 2021, and just 38% in 2020. 78% say there’s more crime in the country overall, similar to last year.
Public safety is playing a starring role in the midterms as Republicans highlight crime in campaigns and promising a tougher approach.
Not coincidentally, Gallup found the increase in perceived crime was driven by a major shift among Republicans —73% said local crime was up last year, versus 51% of independents and 42% of Democrats, whose views have barely moved over the last two years. […]
Philip Bump of the Washington Post tracked a massive explosion in crime coverage over the Fall led by Fox News, but followed by other networks, as Republican campaigns pivoted to the issue in ads and messaging. A story in Bloomberg earlier this year documented a similar phenomenon in New York City, where media coverage and voter fears surged alongside high-profile attacks in subways and a crime-focused campaign by eventual Mayor Eric Adams — even as murders hovered around 2009 levels, a time when the city was widely hailed as a national model for crimefighting.
To give you an example of how intense the media coverage is, check out this story from WBBM Radio…
A man was robbed Wednesday night while dining at a restaurant in Streeterville, Chicago police said.
The man, 52, was sitting inside a restaurant in the 500 block of North Michigan Avenue about 7:30 p.m. when another man walked inside and approached his table from where he grabbed the 52-year-old’s cell phone and personal items, then fled the area, police said.
No injuries or arrests were reported.
I was in Paris many years ago and was sitting at a cafe. I put my mobile phone on the table and the waiter advised me to put it away because of the danger of theft. It’s just kinda crazy to me that something like that is elevated to a news story. Fear sells, I guess.
* New Proft radio ad…
Pritzker: “Opponents of this law don’t want any change…and are preying upon fear of change to lie and fear monger in defense of the status quo.”
“Fearmongers and liars.” That’s what JB Pritzker called the opponents of his Purge Law.
Among the opponents are 100 of Illinois’ 102 county state’s attorneys, Democrats and Republicans alike.
Pritzker has claimed, “there is no such thing as non-detainable offenses.”
Adding, “No one gets out…if they do that’s on prosecutors.”
“Well obviously that’s not the truth,” said fellow Democrat and Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow “for the vast majority of these people committing forcible felonies, they can’t be detained.”
Here’s what will happen in Will County to the 500 prison inmates with pending cases according to Glasgow: “About half of them would walk out on day one and that’s not on the prosecutor, that’s on the statute…It’s the most lenient criminal law in the country.”
When it comes to your personal safety, who do you believe? Punish Pritzker. Purge him from Illinois Politics.
Paid for by People Who Play By The Rules PAC.
* Civic Federation demands more transparency in Chicago Police Department spending: Civic Federation President Laurence Msall said it is “very difficult to track how much is going into policing,” how much is tied to complying with a federal consent decree and where exactly the nearly $100 million increase in the Chicago Police Department’s $1.87 billion budget is going. … “There’s just a lack of transparency and a lack of data on how the police department allocates staff, whether we have adequate staff and what we need to do to make sure we have adequate staff in the future. … We urge the city to conduct and publish an independent workforce allocation study of the police department.”
* Sheriff Tom Dart wants more restrictions for people on electronic monitoring: Electronic monitors can track where defendants are located, and Dart told county commissioners during yearly budget hearings on Wednesday that he has to “literally shut their machine off” during those 48 hours of “essential movement.” There is nothing in the SAFE-T Act that mandates Dart turn off machines or stop surveillance — the law only requires that people on EM have the ability to leave their house for essential tasks.
* DuPage County Board narrowly rejects resolution supporting changes to the SAFE-T Act: Members of the Democratic-controlled board did not dispute that there were areas of the SAFE-T Act that needed fine-tuning, but said the board should wait to see what state lawmakers do in the upcoming veto session first.
* Little common ground between Attorney General Kwame Raoul and challenger Tom DeVore - The incumbent and his Republican opponent on the November ballot are on opposite ends of, among other things, the fight over a major criminal justice reform signed into law last year: “Everywhere you go, people are wanting to talk about crime,” DeVore said.
* Fox 32: Illinois SAFE-T Act: New law is a ‘get out of jail free card,’ former prosecutor says
* GOP candidates: SAFE-T Act will only cause new problems
* Senate candidates McConchie, Peterson debate SAFE-T Act, abortion at Palatine forum: “(The Act addresses) the chaotic situation that we have in the criminal justice system, where dangerous criminals can pay their way out back onto the street, even before a police officer has an opportunity to finish the paperwork,” the North Barrington resident said. But McConchie, the Republican leader in the state senate, said the legislation makes Illinois less safe. “It ties the hands of judges who are working to try to keep us safe” and keep the most dangerous people in jail, the Hawthorn Woods resident said.
* Beyond the heated rhetoric about bail, what else is in the SAFE-T Act? The massive criminal justice bill that ends cash bail in Illinois also supports crime victims and increases police oversight: 1. Expands services for victims of crime … 2. Increases police oversight and accountability … 3. Ends so-called “prison gerrymandering” … 4. Narrows the felony murder law … 5. Requires documentation of deaths in custody
* Joliet police chief points to new police oversight under SAFE-T Act: “While I’m not in favor of the state SAFE-T Act, it does have certain measures in it that provide oversight and review,” Evans said. “I don’t think everyone understands that.”
* Fox News: America’s ‘most dangerous’ law? Illinois candidate warns of ‘anarchy’ after criminal justice overhaul