I’m not sure what motivated Illinois to do away with the option to pay for bail with cash.
The options to pay bail are supposed to be optional, allowing for the temporary release of an accused person that’s awaiting trial, but, of course, depending on the amount of money that would guarantee their appearance in court.
So, you know, they don’t "bail" out of the country.
But Illinois just did away with a big chunk of that.
In a recent decision by its U.S. Supreme Court, the new law that does away with cash bail has been deemed constitutional, and is set to take effect in mid-September.
But with it is going to come a world of trouble — something no city official will likely see coming.
Illinois made it part of a provision for its SAFE-T Act in 2021, and, previously, it had been put on hold by a lower court.
But now it’s free and clear to take effect, and, with it, it’ll create disparities the likes of which we’ve never seen.
That’s because it’s creating a level of inequality with criminals right off the bat.
Those people that are wealthy will be able to pay their way out of jail, while low-income defendants will have no choice but to wait out their trial.
And yet, Governor J.B. Pritzker notes that it will "ensure pre-trial detainment is determined by the danger an individual poses to the community instead of by their ability to pay their way out of jail."
Will it, though?
By allowing these high-end criminals to use their resources more greatly, they could very well have the option to commit even more crimes.
All they need to do is pay the check with another source of income (which they undoubtedly have) and away they go.
This poses a huge problem for Illinois. It’s created a level of inequality that will allow those that can afford it to run wild, only to answer in court later on.
After they’ve committed the crimes, mind you.
And you already see the windfall that’s taken affect in America following "defund the police." Resources dwindled to the point that there’s barely anything there for mental health support or even proper gear.
As a result, police have been leaving their jobs by the thousands. There are some states that are still struggling to keep up while their city streets have turned into a warzone.
But because of another bone-headed decision by a state government, we now see another potential disaster awaiting Illinois.
As if what Lori Lightfoot did for the city of Chicago wasn’t enough.
The beloved Illinois Fraternal Order of Police really said it best in a recent statement.
"Today’s ruling is a slap in the face to those who enforce our laws and the people those laws are supposed to protect."
Amen to that.
So what happens now?
Well, we’re okay for the time being.
Come mid-September, however, we’re going to see those changes take effect. And this writer fears that then — and only then — will these state officials actually see what kind of damage they’re doing.
Officers could be quitting within a few months’ time.
Crime rates could see a hefty increase, even with the promised court dates.
And those that are simply trying to seek a fair trial and just want to get back to their families won’t be able to because, surprise, the system is already working against them before they have a chance to prove their case.
I do hope that Illinois understands that, with the Safe-T act, it’s doing anything but acting on actual safety.
I hope they realize the damage that could come from this and do something before it’s too late. But hope can only go so far when you’ve got state officials that would rather do things their way.
I pray for the Illinois police officers and the others affected by the doing-away with cash bail. They’re going to need all the help they can get, especially when you consider that they’re paying the price.
Even without cash.
Michael Letts is the Founder and CEO of In-Vest USA, a national grassroots nonprofit organization helping to re-fund police by contributing thousands of bulletproof vests for police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience. Read More Michael Letts reports — Here.
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