Supporters celebrate as Illinois ends cash bail

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:52 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — Local leaders reacted with applause Monday, as Illinois became the first state in country to end its cash bail system.

As of 1:30 p.m., Sept. 18, those arrested on jailable offenses no longer have the option pay a cash bond to secure their pre-trial release.

The new law, covered under the state’s Pre-Trial Fairness Act, was written to protect those who could not afford bond under the state’s old system from languishing in jail while awaiting trial for low-level offenses.

Under the no-cash system, those accused of most misdemeanors and non-violent crimes will be released from police custody after they’re arrested. Those accused of violent felonies must face a detention hearing or remain in custody.

“This was regular people coming together to meet a need and advocate on behalf of those who have been incarcerated,” said Rev. Violet Johnicker, executive director or Rockford Urban Ministries. “We are not done. We know there is progress to be made. And we are here for the folks who come through these doors, and we will continue to work for you.”