This morning, Illinois NOW joined more than 130 organizations representing thousands of Illinoisans sent an open letter to Illinois legislators urging them to only pass amendments to the Pretrial Fairness portions of the SAFE-T Act that remain true to the promise of this historic racial justice legislation. We believe that the changes included in HB5537 will help Illinois safely and effectively implement the Pretrial Fairness Act, and must be included in any SAFE-T Act trailer bill passed by the legislature.
The changes included in HB5537 stand in stark contrast to SB4228, which would remove key provisions of law and increase pretrial jailing. The proposals in HB5537 were informed by the work of the Illinois Supreme Court Pretrial Implementation Task Force, which has been working with stakeholders from every branch of government to implement the Pretrial Fairness Act.
Key priorities for a Pretrial Fairness Act trailer bill include retaining limits on when and why someone can be incarcerated before trial (a detention eligibility net), limiting the use of video hearings for pretrial release decisions, ensuring a consistent standard for detaining people for safety reasons, clarifying timelines in the pretrial process, and protecting the rights of people on electronic monitoring.
To learn more about the importance of the Illinois legislature passing these provisions in a trailer bill, read the full letter here.