Illinois Sheriff Candidly Shares Concerns And More About SAFE-T Act
Many Illinois residents fear the ramifications of a new bill that will go into effect on January 1, 2023. The information about Illinois' SAFE-T Act (Pretrial Fairness Act) is unclear, which might be why conversation is flooded with misconceptions and questions. One thing is sure, it isn't a "purge law" and those who commit crimes can be arrested and will face a judge.
The concern lies heavily around which offenses do not necessarily guarantee an offender will be kept in jail. The Pretrial Fairness Act, which you can read in detail here, is eliminating cash bonds. This means anyone who is arrested will not be able to pay a bond to be released immediately. Instead, the person will go before a judge within 24 to 48 hours and then it will be decided if the suspect will be released or detained.
Crimes that will be considered Non-Detainable, meaning being kept in jail until trial, beyond the initial 24-48 hours, are the following:
- Aggravated Battery
- Aggravated DUI
- Aggravated Fleeing
- Drug-Induced Homicide
- 2nd-Degree Murder
- Threatening a Public Official
There Is Heavy Concern About People Who Commit These Crimes Being Released
The misconception circulating social media accounts around Illinois is that no one will be arrested for the above crimes, which has been confirmed to be untrue by Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana. People will still be arrested and booked in jail but they may be released within 24-48 hours. The judge's responsibility is to decide if the party is a risk to an individual or the community.
The defendant is charged with a “forcible felony” that comes with a mandatory sentence of imprisonment without probation upon conviction, and the release of that defendant would constitute a threat to any person or the community at large.
There's More To This Than Being Shared In The News
One thing Gary Caruana shared was the effect it will have on his department. When someone's charges are deemed non-detainable" the person will be given a trial date and if they don't show up it will they will receive a notice in the mail with a new date.
If I'm understanding this correctly if the person does not show up for that court date it will be the Sheriff's Office's responsibility to issue a warrant to the individual if they're able to be located. What if they're unreachable? That is one of the many concerns of Caruana.
He did explain there is the ability to adjust this bill if legislators are willing to openly discuss it.