The state of Illinois cashless bail law goes into effect Monday, and officers will no longer arrest people for many offenses.
Cashless bail was a measure of the SAFE-T Act, a criminal justice reform bill signed into law in 2021. Some Illinois prosecutors filed a lawsuit seeking to block the measure, but the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in July cashless bail will take effect Sept. 18, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Under the new law, anyone charged with a forcible felony, which includes first- and second-degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary and arson, or poses a real and present threat to himself or herself or others will be taken into custody.
However, anyone committing traffic violations, class B and C misdemeanors, petty business offenses or local ordinance violations will be cited and released.
As officers interact with people suspected of the lower level offenses, if the person has proper identification, doesn’t pose a threat and doesn’t have an obvious medical or mental health issue, then the officer should issue a citation, according to the Pretrial Fairness Act, the measure of the SAFE-T Act that addressed cashless bail.
Instead of bond receipts, officers will issue those facing lower level charges with a citation and notice to appear form. By extension, officers won’t have to drive someone charged with a lower level offense to the police station or to jail.