Illinois SAFE-T Act: State leaders hold online public forum to explain new law

The controversial Illinois SAFE-T Act was the topic of discussion at an online public forum Wednesday night.

State leaders say they want to dispel many of the myths about the new law, which will put an end to cash bail.

Critics of the law say crime will increase because of the SAFE-T Act, while others believe it will lead to improved public safety and a "less bias justice system."

Illinois is the first state in the nation to abolish cash bail for suspects charged and awaiting trial. According to the text of the new law, suspects will stay in custody if a court rules they "pose a specific real and present threat to a person or have a high likelihood of willful flight before trial."


The law also makes changes to policing regarding use of force complaints and misconduct.

Gov. JB Pritzker recently acknowledged changing some language of the SAFE-T Act to clear up widespread confusion.

State Sen. Robert Peters and state Rep. Kam Buckner, who both sponsored the bill, led Wednesday night's virtual meeting.

The SAFE-T Act will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.