Pretrial Fairness Act

Understand Why the Pretrial Fairness Act is an Election "Hot Button"

The Pretrial Fairness Act, which ends money bonds, does not go into effect until January 1, 2023. Yet many candidates are running on the premise that it is responsible for an increase in crime across Illinois and especially the Chicago area and want to modify, if not outright repeal the Act before it even becomes law.

 

The statistics about crime increases can’t be disputed. However, it is important to factually analyze the underlying causes. Be an informed voter. Learn more about the need for the criminal justice system reforms to take effect. (Note: The League’s position on criminal justice supports no cash bail.)

 

WHAT IS THE PRETRIAL FAIRNESS ACT?

A major component of the Act eliminates cash bail. Currently, bail is not available to those awaiting trial whom a judge considers a flight risk and/or a threat to society. If an accused is eligible for bail, only those with the means to pay are released. Those who can’t make bail remain in jail until trial, suffering the consequences of lost jobs and wages, inability to pay bills, and separation from family. By ending money bonds, the Pretrial Fairness Act aims to eliminate the harsh disparities between those with means and those. To be clear, the Act has no effect on those charged with crimes who are deemed at risk of not appearing for trial or being a danger to others – they would not be eligible for release before trial, the same as it is today.

 

For a quick briefing about the Act and its benefits, watch these two videos:

End Money Bond

Chicago Votes

 

To learn more, read the following:

Fact Sheet 1 

Fact Sheet 2 

Fact Check Document 

 

Another good resource is Pretrial Fairness.org