CHICAGO - You know something's officially part of the national dialogue when it makes its way to Joe Rogan's podcast — and that's just what's happened to the controversy surrounding Illinois' SAFE-T Act, which eliminates cash bail.
"They're essentially almost eliminating cash bail for almost everything dangerous," Rogan said. "Aggravated battery, burglary, intimidation, aggravated DUI, fleeing and eluding drug offenses and threatening a public official: no bail."
Local politicians against Illinois' SAFE-T Act, which is set to take effect Jan. 1, are framing it in similar terms, saying the elimination of cash bail means violent suspects will be set free.
"If they're being charged, the accused will be released without bail to await their court date entirely free and unfettered," said Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz.
Advocates of the measure, however, call that "misinformation," pointing out that judges will still have the ability to hold in jail anyone they see as a threat to the community or a flight risk, regardless of the charges.
"Instead of basing pre-trial detention on whether you have money in your wallet or not, it focuses specifically on the idea of whether you're a threat in terms of public safety or whether you're a risk to fly," said state Sen. Robert Peters.
Peters says the measure will make the state safer, because truly violent offenders, ordered detained, and who happened to have enough cash to bond out won't be able to.