‘No repercussions’: Illinois residents fear ‘anarchy’ over new criminal justice law eliminating cash bail

Violent crime has evidently not been sufficiently addressed in Illinois and after Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker signed a law with many changes to the justice system set to go into effect in January, even small-town citizens are concerned over the possibility of “anarchy.”

(Video: Fox News Digital)

Early in 2021, Pritzker signed the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act, a bill meant to address policing, the courts, and how suspects are to be treated. As Fox News reported, it “changes multiple parts of Illinois’ justice system with provisions like ending cash bail; limiting how flights determine whether defendants are flight risks; and allow defendants under electronic monitoring to leave home for 48 hours before they can be charged with escape.”

At his debate with gubernatorial opponent Illinois state Sen. Darren Bailey (R), the governor defended the passage of the bill, calling arguments against it “far-right extremist lies.” But citizens of Metropolis, Ill., thought differently when they spoke with Fox News Digital.

“I think it’s stupid. I’ve worked for the system for 28 years, and I think it’s about the dumbest thing Illinois has come up with so far,” a man named Luke told the outlet.

The Pretrial Fairness Act contained within the bill specifically outlined, “Detention only shall be imposed when it is determined that the defendant poses the risk, and if the court finds that they do, then a judge will be required to submit their reasoning in writing under the parameters of the legislation.”

Further provisions also prohibit police from removing non-violent trespassers from private property, limiting them to the issuance of citations. An individual named David said, “I think it’s kind of a sad thing if the police can’t remove them because if it’s left up to the property owner and they try to do it, then more than likely they’ll be the people that get in trouble instead of the trespasser.”

“They’re the ones who’s gonna get punished for trying to protect their own property,” one woman who worked in a local sheriff’s office for over 20 years argued.

Meanwhile, as covered on AmericanWire, Keith Pekau, the mayor of Chicago suburb Orland Park, cut right to the heart of the issue when he said, “We create potential anarchy because law enforcement can’t do their job and then people feel that they have to do that job. People aren’t trained in the use of force. They’re not trained to de-escalate situations. Lots of bad things can happen out of this, and it could potentially spiral out of control relatively quickly.”

Leading up to the midterms, Bailey has promised that he would repeal the SAFE-T Act on day one and tweeted earlier this month, “JB Pritzker still refuses to say what he will change about the SAFE-T Act. It’s because he coddles criminals and refuses to keep people safe. He’s lying and putting your family’s safety last.”

Another woman who said she comes from a family of law enforcement expressed how “scary” the situation would be should the SAFE-T Act remain, and added, “No I do not think it will make the state safer,” as others suggested the only likely outcome would be more criminals on the streets and untrained citizens forced to take the law into their own hands to defend themselves on their property.


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Kevin Haggerty


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