Halbrook: New Year, New Breaks for Criminals in Illinois

Illinois communities will start the new year with a new threat to public safety as cash bail is eliminated across the state for many charged with serious felony offenses. State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) said the cash bail elimination is part of the controversial Safe-T Act passed by Democrats last year, and will result in violent, repeat offenders being released back into our communities within hours of their arrest.

“Simply put, this is a ‘get out of jail free’ card for violent criminals in Illinois,” Rep. Halbrook said. “It’s hard to believe that the Safe-T Act was largely drafted and passed by those who represent the very communities that have suffered the most from its passage. But this law has made Illinois a less safe place to live for just about everyone, including families that live in our downstate communities. The new elimination of cash bail doubles down on the misery.”

Just over a year ago, in February of 2021, Governor Pritzker signed the quickly drafted and un-vetted Safe-T Act into law. The original legislation was two bills combined into one 700-page measure with conflicting language passed in the final hours of the January 2021 “Lame Duck” session. It places hundreds of new regulations and rules on law enforcement that make it even harder for them to do their job.  Measures just going into effect in January also make it harder to keep violent offenders off our streets by eliminating cash bail.

“Law enforcement, local officials, and others from across the state warned these provisions would make our communities less safe. As much as we hate to say ‘I told you so’…that is exactly what has happened. Small Democrat changes enacted since have not fixed it.  We need to repeal the entire Safe-T Act and work together on new measures that help, not hinder law enforcement’s efforts to protect our families,” Halbrook said.