By Ariana Coghill | Mother Jones
For years, cash bail has been criticized for determining who would be chosen for pre-trial detention based on wealth. Now, Illinois has abolished it. After a months-long legal battle, the state became the first in the nation to eliminate cash bail thanks to a provision in a sweeping criminal justice reform law that went into effect on Monday. The Pretrial Fairness Act, a part of the expansive SAFE-T Act, was designed to protect people facing charges from being detained before their trial based solely on their inability to afford bail.
Now, state judges will determine whether or not someone can be released prior to their court date based on the severity of their crime or their risk of fleeing prosecution.
“Today, Illinois is no longer criminalizing poverty, and the entire nation has their eyes on us,” Illinois House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch said during a press conference Monday.
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