Illinois Becomes First State to Abolish Cash Bail


FILE - This Aug. 27, 2014 file photo shows a statue outside of the Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield, Ill. The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 upheld the constitutionality of a state law ending cash bail, ordering implementation in mid-September. The ruling overturns a Kankakee County judge’s opinion in December that the law violated the constitution’s provision that  “all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, file)
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This week, Illinois became the first state to end cash bail as a condition of pretrial release. Civil rights advocates have said the cash bail system discriminates against poor people of color accused of nonviolent offenses, but supporters say it keeps dangerous criminals off the streets.

Going forward, criminal suspects will not have to pay money for release from jail during the pretrial stage. However, a judge could keep them incarcerated if the court determines the suspect is dangerous, likely to flee prosecution or charged with a serious felony. 

According to a 2022 federal civil rights report, courts tend to impose higher bail amounts on Black and Latino men than other demographic groups.

Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Clay Cane. Follow @claycane & @aurnonline for more.

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