During the final hours of the 2021 lame duck session of the 101st General Assembly in January 2021, Illinois Democrats rammed through anti-police, pro-criminal legislation under the cover of darkness. The Democrats’ so-called “SAFE-T Act” contained many controversial provisions that make extensive changes to Illinois’ criminal justice laws. This legislation, House Bill 3653 – Public Act 101-652, can be found online here.
This legislation abolishes cash bail, makes it more difficult for prosecutors to charge a defendant with felony murder, and adds further requirements for no-knock warrants. Additionally, it gives judges the ability to deviate from mandatory minimum sentencing requirements, makes changes to the “three strikes” law, and decreases mandatory supervised release terms. This is among other changes.
One of the most controversial aspects of HB 3653 was the numerous changes and additional requirements it places on Illinois’ law enforcement officers. The legislation creates a new felony offence of law enforcement misconduct, creates an anonymous complaint policy, and makes changes to use of force in making arrest, duty to render aid, and duty to intervene. The bill makes significant changes to the law enforcement officer certification and decertification process, including the creation of a new Law Enforcement Certification Review Panel.
House Bill 3653 was approved by the Illinois House on January 13, 2021 by the bare majority of 60 votes (60-50-0), with only minutes to spare before the clock struck to end the 101st General Assembly. It was strongly opposed by Illinois’ law enforcement community, including from the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and many State’s Attorneys from across the state. Citing serious concerns about both the content and the process by which the bill passed, House Republicans voted unanimously against the measure. The legislation had passed the Illinois Senate in the early hours of the final day of the 101st General Assembly on a vote of 32-23-0. Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law on February 22, 2021.
On January 1, 2023, the State of Illinois will eliminate its cash bail system. Starting next year, Illinois’ non-detainable offenses will include: aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, aggravated fleeing, arson, burglary, drug-induced homicide, intimidation, kidnapping, robbery, 2nd-degree murder, and threatening a public official.
Illinois is the first state in the country to abolish cash bail.
I voted NO on the SAFE-T Act when it was passed.
We have established a petition to get your input and make your voice heard. If you agree we need to repeal the SAFE-T Act, please sign our petition online here!