Gangland: Illinois cancels cash bail in January, makes kidnapping, robbery, and some murders non-detainable


The new Illinois SAFE-T Act eliminates cash bail and allows criminals a get-out-of-jail-free card. The criminal justice framework allows kidnappers, robbers, and arsonists to roam free until their court dates. Parts of the law went into effect in 2021, and the rest of it will be in effect in January, 2023.

Rep. Justin Slaughter, the Chicago Democrat who carried the bill, said the Republicans who opposed it have a “bad stench of racism.”

But many critics say that Illinois will become the crime capital of the nation and will soon be overrun by cartels. The Drug Enforcement Agency notes that Chicago already “has a long history of organized crime and is home to numerous street gangs that use the illegal drug trade to build their criminal enterprises.”

“Compounding Chicago’s crime problem is a steady supply of drugs from Mexican drug cartels, most notably the Sinaloa Cartel. Illicit drugs flow from Mexico to Chicago via a loosely associated network of profit-driven intermediaries, with Chicago street gangs serving as the primary distributors at the street level. The profits earned through drug trafficking increase the staying power of both street gangs and drug trafficking organizations (DTOs), thereby influencing levels of violent crime in both the United States and Mexico. Of particular concern is the trafficking and distribution of heroin, which has increased significantly in recent years and caused significant harm to communities in Chicago and around the United States,” the DEA reports.

The list of offenses for which Illinois law enforcement cannot detain criminals, include:

  • – Aggravated Battery
  • – Aggravated DUI
  • – Aggravated Fleeing
  • – Arson
  • – Burglary
  • – Drug-Induced Homicide
  • – Intimidation
  • – Kidnapping
  • – Robbery
  • – 2nd-Degree Murder
  • – Threatening a Public Official
  • The SAFE-T Act says defendants of these and lesser crimes, such as drug crimes, are presumed eligible for pretrial release unless prosecutors present “clear and convincing evidence” that shows the suspect poses a threat to a specific and identifiable person. Prosecutors will be required to actually request detention and the State of Illinois is required to hold a hearing within 48 hours of apprehension to determine if the suspect should be released. Investigators say they will not have the time they need to compile the evidence from surveillance and body cameras, crime labs and forensic analysis.

The SAFE-T Act gives criminals the right to make three phone calls within three hours of arriving at any place of custody. Critics say this allows them to call their victims and threaten them into not pressing charges. There are no restrictions on the phone calls, which means the perpetrators can intimidate or tamper with witnesses.

Former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signed into law a similar measure known as SB 91, and Alaskans found that it led to a massive crime wave. As soon as Gov. Mike Dunleavy assumed office, the process of repealing SB 91 was underway and he signed HB 49 by July of 2019.

House Bill 49 gave discretion back to judges and the Alaska Parole Board, and made improvements to the “catch and release” bail system that was created by the notorious and widely hated SB 91.

SAFE-T Act: Policing Highlights


In the area of use of force, the Act:

  • Offers new standards for when police use force.
  • Requires officers to provide aid after using force.
  • Requires officers to intervene if other officers use unauthorized or excessive force.
  • Prohibits police access to any military equipment surplus program or purchasing specific types of equipment.
  • Requires publishing of any purchase, request, or receipt of equipment through any military purchasing program.
  • Expands use of, and changes guidelines and requirements for, body worn cameras and who may access, review, or delete footage.
  • Expands officer training on topics including crisis intervention, de-escalation, use of force, high-risk traffic stops, implicit bias, racial and ethnic sensitivity training, and emergency response.
  • Mandates use of force reporting to FBI National Use of Force Database.
  • Requires reporting of deaths in police custody and due to use of force.

Complaints and Misconduct

In the areas of complaints and misconduct, the Act:

  • Creates a statewide decertification process for officers.
  • Allows the attorney general to investigate, initiate civil lawsuits, and enforce settlements against police agencies that have a pattern of depriving individuals of their rights.
  • Creates stricter body camera regulations and a Class 3 felony for clear and willful attempts to obstruct justice.
  • Allows for investigation of anonymous complaints against officers.
  • Bans the destruction of police misconduct records.
  • Allows complaint filings against police officers without sworn affidavits or other legal documentation.
  • Removes the requirements that officers under investigation must be informed of complainants’ names or of the officer in charge of the investigation.
  • Prohibits local governments from retaliating against employees who report improper government actions.
  • Expands notification of police misconduct to the Illinois State Training and Standards Board.
  • Makes data on misconduct more accessible.
  • Requires a publicly available database for any police misconduct that results in decertification.

Officer decertification

In the certification and decertification process area, the Act:

  • Changes Illinois State Police Merit Board composition and reporting to the board.
  • Creates a Illinois Law Enforcement Certification Review Panel.
  • Enhances automatic and discretionary termination of officers.
  • Changes procedures for automatic and discretionary decertification of officers.
  • Includes provisions for immediate suspensions.
  • Requires verification of training and employment information.
  • Requires additional sheriff qualifications.

In other police provisions, the Act:

  • Adds reporting of officer dispatch to mental health crises or incidents.
  • Makes residency requirements a subject of collective bargaining for cities with populations over 100,000.
  • Requires officers to issue a citation rather than arrest for certain low level offenses.
  • Provides for confidential mental health screening and counseling for officers.
  • Expands crime statistics reporting to monthly.
  • Provides people in custody with up to three phone calls within three hours.
  • Allows for medical treatment for people in custody without unreasonable delay.
  • Amends police pre-arrest diversion/deflection programs to allow for collaboration with other first responders and community partners.


In the pretrial area, the ACT:

  • Abolishes cash bail.
  • Prevents the results of a risk assessment from being the sole basis for a detention decision and informs the accused person of the tool.
  • Establishes a Pretrial Practices Data Oversight Board to oversee data collection and analysis.
  • Establishes the Domestic Violence Pretrial Practices Working Group.
  • Adds notification of pretrial hearing to crime victims.
  • Changes the offense class for violations of conditions of pretrial release.
  • Changes pretrial release procedures, including release on own recognizance, warrant alternatives, and conditions of release, including electric monitoring and home confinement revocation, modification, and sanctions.
  • May revoke pretrial release under certain circumstances.
  • Complete details about the massive crime bill are at this link.


  1. Many Alaskan offenses have not returned to pre SB91 standards and catch-and-release is still standard practice for most misdomeanor offenses.

    Much discretion is still afforded the presiding judges in their Judicial districts.

    First time DUI? Processed, issued a summons, released to a sober party and no cash bail and no conditions of release.

    Driving while license suspended? Issued a citation, if first offense, a non-criminal citarion. No further detention and no conditions of release.

    Actually arrested and charged on a misdemeanor charge? Generally released on Own Recognizance, usually a criminal citation.

    Violate Conditions of Release? Breaking the promise to the judge that was made so you could get out of jail? Unless it’s DV, you receive a citation with a court date…with another promise, this time to appear…doesn’t matter if you have twenty pending VCOR charges already.

    The bail recommendations have also been inflation proof…used to be that Alaska Courts were not allowed to consider out-of-state criminal histories when setting felony bail. I believe that it remains that way. So a career criminal from the 48 can receive bail and conditions just like a newbie.

    You’ll also rarely see the DAOs file, as you should expect, for forfeiture of bail when defendants jump bail or violate conditions.

    No, not nearly as bad as Illinois, but bad enough.

    Yes, we need to be able to hold District Attorneys accountable for generous plea agreements and failing to obtain stringent bail conditions.

    • Just curious, do state and federal judges take an oath to defend THIS Constitution in order to receive funds from the public trust funds?

    • Just curious, do state and federal judges and court practitioners take a sworn oath to defend THIS Constitution in order to receive funds from the public trust funds?

    • It has been established that: the population has the right to travel from jurisdiction to jurisdiction since Jamestown as may please him while using the King’s highways (without showing ID. On the other hand public employees MUST show ID to the people whenever asked by the inhabitant to do so). Constitutional standards are sometimes a thing.

  2. Does anyone consult the US Constitution and the criminal code written at the same time designed to work together by learned international lawyers, not regional delicate, well-mannered, proud, Godless Karens and which documents support retention of the guaranteed form of government the confederate (friendly) republic – America’s literal form of guaranteed government extending equal footing and preserving liberty and justice for all. We don’t gedda wander from these documents. They are the law; not stuff (recently) made up. You know the alleged “rule of law”. Liberty is paramount whether provocative Karens like it or not. What are we fighting for? Trembling into communism, ladies?

  3. Welcome to the dark ages.

    Energy by sun and wind, functional illiteracy championed by the teachers, rampant violence, no law enforcement, sexual deviancy championed by the ruling powers, paganism, and so much more.

    Sadly can’t blame this on the left. Both sides are equally guilty in the abandonment of common sense.

  4. This is definitely one state I will NOT be visiting or crossing through. I will avoid it at all costs if I ever have to drive that far east.

  5. Rep. Justin Slaughter has the perfect last name for the introduction of such a dangerous bill. The pending results of this legislation are obvious. Why would a legislature purposely set out to increase crime and cause mayhem among its constituents?

  6. SB-91 was a disaster. But this legislation was Sen. Coghill’s baby. The legislature fell all over itself to pass it, and they did by wide, veto proof margins. The bill passed out of the Senate with 16 ‘Yes” votes, and 2 “No” votes, to INCLUDE Sen. Dunleavy’s “Yes” vote on April 9, 2016.

    The bill passed out of the House with 28 “Yes” and 10 “Nos”.

    If Walker had vetoed the bill, the legislature would have overrode him. So lets place the blame for SB-91 on the legislature.

  7. The left literally hates every decent thing in life. It craves only power. The same people who wish, they could press a button and make all the “deplorables” disappear (and in times past, particularly in Europe and Asia last century, they could, and DID) are the ones that want to let arsonists and murderers go free. Evil is a thing.

  8. Equally at fault are the chiefs and commissioners who lack the moral courage to say no to and to fight against such measures for their officers. None of this is about “transparency”, don’t be a fool, it’s the systematic dismantling of local law enforcement.

  9. What is a job description of an elected legislator? Following his discrete, ladylike interpersonal values of secretive personal support of international chinese olligarch’s contemporary values for Alaskan native serfs? Is that the desire of Alaskan voters? Because tv is an excellent educator of our Alaskan neighbors and reading the words of the US Constitution is so tedious?

  10. SB91 was brought to us by the Pew Charitable Trust, which spent untold $$ pulling the wool over the eyes of our state legislators. And Gov. Walker? Remember how pleased he was with himself when he signed it into law?

  11. Communism no. Communists had order because there police would beat the crap out of you in front of everybody and if somebody said something then they got the crap beat out of them also. As it may be they were a unity as we are divided in a nation of unrest and the people are winning. Illinois is down so what’s the next target. I say area 51

  12. I grew up in Chicago—It Sucked. The best thing that happened to me was getting drafted at 19 and going to NAM. As a kid l was aware that Mayor Daley held all the Power. Democrat Power. I saw him fine tune it over the years. That knowledge and power where passed on to Barak Obama, and now Joe Biden. It’s a one party town, like New York, and Detroit. Eventually controlling the State—like California. We are seeing it in it’s LARVAL STAGE on the Anchorage Assembly. We send a majority of Republicans to the State Legislature, and they Caucus with Democrats, often giving them positions of leadership.. We can still turn it around,but we have to RANK THE RED. The Blue RINO’S need to really look and see what they are doing to themselves and others.

    • I also grew up in Chicago around the same time frame as you and I had the opposite experience as a child in Brighton park where I was raised. The area was extremely safe, the CPD were efficient and present and people helped each other. From a politics point of view like you I also learned Richard J Daley had his name on everything but, even my conservative family were not overly concerned because the city was well run and safe. Even when we left our southside community to visit the museums or ball parks and ride the L my family never had an issue and it was a very good childhood compared to what many have today in Chicago and throughout the rest of the country.

    • Uhhh a lot of this is violent. Kidnapping, different murders, aggravated assault on and on… Don’t know what you are talking about

    • You’ve been misled as to what that number means. Common deception.

      The buildings are there. They already have heat, plumbing, and electricity. The fences and yards have been paid off generations ago.

      Correctional officers have already been hired, trained, and scheduled.

      It costs almost exactly the same to have 150 in a facility as 75.

      So to square a budget v. housing is a common and effective deception used by “reformers.”

      Frankly, not introducing young offenders to a system of consequences does them no favors. So many graduate to violent crimes and felonies, and eventually become unmarketable felons…poverty does Not create crime, crime creates poverty

  13. Traveling is one thing, driving is another. Driving is a privilege, go take a walk if you’re not properly licenced.

    Citing or misinterpreting maritime law or English statute is a sure sign of a Constitutionalist

    The strongest sign of a Constitutionalist is someone who has failed in the facets of life and seek to blame the rules instead of their own inadequacies.

  14. This article is completely misleading. These is nothing in the SAFE-T act that makes any of those offenses “non-detainable.” Either you never read the act or are intentionally misleading. It simply gets rid of Cash Bail. A judge still has discretion to deny pre-trial release if the person poses a danger to the community.

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