The 21st Show

SAFE-T Act goes before Illinois Supreme Court

Illinois Supreme Court

Illinois Supreme Court Capitol News Illinois

This morning, the Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments with regard to what supporters called the Pretrial Fairness Act. The law aimed to say people charged with a crime could no longer be held in jail because they or their families couldn’t come up with cash to secure their release. Instead, a judge would make the call on who could be released and who would remain locked up while awaiting trial. The bail law was part of a broader package of legislation called the SAFE-T Act, and it was signed into law in 2021 by Governor JB Pritzker. Backers say it’s aimed at ending systemic racism in the criminal justice system. However, critics have called it “pro-criminal and anti-police.” Prosecutors fought back against the law in court — with more than five dozen filing a lawsuit to prevent it from going into effect at the start of the year. 


Ann Lousin

Professor of Illinois Constitutional Law, University of Illinois Chicago School of Law

Mawa Iqbal

Covers the statehouse for public radio stations across Illinois