Wolff and Walker comment on Criminal Justice Reform Bill

On Monday, Feb. 22, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 3653, the somewhat controversial Criminal Justice Reform Bill.

In signing the bill, Pritzker stated, “This legislation marks a substantial step toward dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our communities, our state and our nation, and brings us closer to true safety, true fairness and true justice.”

He continued, “This bill was also infused with solutions from individuals most directly impacted: survivors of domestic violence, survivors of crime, and those who have been detained pre-trial only because they are poor. Today we advance our values in the law – progress secured despite the pandemic, because of the passion and push of the Legislative Black Caucus, activists, advocates, and residents intent on leaving a better Illinois for all our children.”

Highlights of the bill include: that starting on Jan. 1, 2023, all bail bonds and conditions of bail will be replaced by a system of pretrial release bases on the crime, risk of not appearing for court and threat/danger posed to individuals or the community; for statewide use of force standards to be established by 2022; that the state will have more power over the certification and hiring of law enforcement at every agency through the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB); and that body cameras will be mandatory for all law enforcement agencies statewide, with the largest departments required to have cameras in place by 2022 and the rest all by 2025.

For more on House Bill 3653, please see this week’s print edition.