Criminal Justice Reform

Flanked by domestic violence advocates and a pair of state senators, State Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia, speaks at a Chicago news conference on Thursday announcing intentions to run a gun-related proposal during the General Assembly’s fall veto session later this month. Hirschauer’s bill would require law enforcement to confiscate guns from those with domestic violence orders of protection within 48 hours of a judge granting an order. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Hannah Meisel)

Advocates push for guns to be taken from domestic abusers when order of protection served

October 18, 2023

Bill named for Chicago domestic violence victim allegedly shot and killed by husband this summer By HANNAH MEISELCapitol News [email protected] CHICAGO – As lawmakers prepare to return to Springfield later this month for their annual two-week fall veto session, advocates…

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A statue is pictured outside of the Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki)

As SAFE-T Act goes live, murder suspects previously eligible to post bond are held in jail

September 26, 2023

Hearings have been longer, more deliberative – resembling federal detention proceedings In courtrooms around the state early this week, judges conducted the first hearings under a new system that determines whether a defendant will be jailed while awaiting trial based…

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Studies show nearly 74% of people jailed in the U.S. are awaiting trial. Even when found not guilty, many lose their jobs, their homes, and even custody of their children. Illinois' Pretrial Fairness Act counteracts this by taking money out of the equation. Instead, judges will decide pretrial detainment based on a public safety evaluation.

Cash bail disproportionately impacts communities of color. Illinois is the first state to abolish it

September 14, 2023

CHICAGO (AP) — It took four and a half months for Shannon Ross’ life to unravel. Ross, who describes himself as Indigenous and a person of color, was arrested in Chicago in October 2019 on weapons charges and ultimately found…

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Thanks to House Democrats, we have expanded protections for survivors of domestic violence. Several bills co-sponsored by Rep. Joyce Mason were recently signed into law and will allow survivors to be safely distanced from their abusers and add electronic communications to orders of protection.

Illinois Lawmakers Look to Address Domestic Violence Rise With Laws to Help Survivors

August 28, 2023

An estimated one in five homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The CDC also reports that about 75% of female domestic violence survivors and 48% of male survivors experience some…

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Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (WEEK)

Illinois Supreme Court upholds end to cash bail; change to go into effect Sept. 18

July 18, 2023

CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) – The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a state law ending cash bail across the state, giving courts two more months before they must implement the change. In a 5-2 ruling Tuesday morning, the state’s highest court…

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Sen. Elgie Simms Jr., D-Chicago, center, speaks during the Survivors Speaker Illinois rally in the state Capitol rotunda Thursday, April 20, 2023. Thomas J. Turney/State Journal-Register

Crime Victims Call for Expanded Protections, Rights at Capitol Rally

April 23, 2023

Anti-criminal violence advocates rallied in the state Capitol on Thursday, pushing a slate of bills they say will better serve survivors and victims in Illinois. Aswad Thomas, national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, was on his way…

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Governor JB Pritzker released a letter in response to blatantly false statements made by the Republican Madison County state's attorney about the SAFE-T Act and the reformation of our cash bail system.

Governor JB Pritzker Released the Following Letter In Response to Madison County State’s Attorney False Statements on SAFE-T Act

October 13, 2022

States Attorney Haine, I was disappointed to read your letter and watch your television interview defending a criminal justice status quo where accused murderers, domestic batterers, rapists, and other dangerous criminals can buy their way out of jail pending trial…

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