120122CM0129rCHICAGO – A measure led by Illinois Senate Democrats to clarify the Pretrial Fairness Act portions of the SAFE-T Act and ensure smooth implementation was signed into law Tuesday.

A joint effort with law enforcement, state attorneys and other stakeholders, the bill provides clarification to common misconceptions spread about the Pretrial Fairness Act portions of the SAFE-T Act since its passage in January 2021. In recent months, a smear campaign against the law overwhelmed social media and headlines of fake newspapers, leaving many Illinoisans confused on what the law actually does.

“The SAFE-T Act was the result of hours of testimony and negotiations with domestic violence advocates, proponents of reform, law enforcement and states attorneys at the table working to create a pathway to a better and more equitable criminal legal system,” said State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago). “However, due to the misinformation campaign led by opponents of the measure, we spent countless hours dispelling falsehoods and working to ensure that the law was not taken out of context. I thank the governor and my colleagues in both chambers for prioritizing a measure that clarifies the language of this transformational law while preserving the protections for crime survivors and ensures we stop criminalizing poverty in this state.”

House Bill 1095 combats the false narrative by explaining judges can issues warrants and summons, providing a reminder that any person who poses a threat to the community or someone else – including trespassers – can be arrested, and clarifying court authority when it comes to electronic monitoring, among other items.

“To say that I’m proud of all the work and advocacy that went into the passage of this act would be an understatement,” said State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago). “My colleagues and I, with input from the Coalition to End Money Bond, the States Attorneys Association, the Sheriff’s Association and survivor advocates, were able to create something that will change lives and reform the criminal justice system for the better. This is our generation carrying the torch for civil and human rights, and Illinois will only become safer and more equitable because of it.”

Under House Bill 1095, the intent of the Pretrial Fairness Act remains – the bill merely clarifies language to ensure it cannot be taken out of context.

To provide a smoother transition to the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act, the measure also clarifies that any person charged on or after Jan. 1 will have their pretrial release determined under the new system.

It also outlines that anyone charged prior to Jan. 1 would stay on the current bail system, however, people arrested prior to that can motion to have their case heard under the new rules – which will happen on a rolling basis dependent on the severity of the crime.

“It’s vital the pretrial system in Illinois remains equitable and that all individuals are treated fairly, regardless of financial status,” said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). “After collaboration between a diverse group, we were able to create a measure that ensures public safety and maintains the intent of the Pretrial Fairness Act. I am proud of everyone’s collaborative effort and their commitment to make Illinois safe.”

House Bill 1095 was signed into law Tuesday.