Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a sweeping criminal justice bill into law today, moving Illinois closer to ending cash bail and requiring police officers to wear body cameras — moves that critics say will hurt public safety.
But the Democratic governor said the sweeping bill moves Illinois a step closer to “true safety, true fairness and true justice.”
The criminal justice bill was crafted by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. It passed the General Assembly last month during the Legislature’s lame duck session.
Along with bringing about the end of cash bail in the state, the bill creates a statewide certification program for police officers; mandates three phone calls for detainees; allows for more judicial discretion in sentencing; and, in Cook County, assigns special prosecutors in cases where there are police-involved deaths.
Ahead of the signing, Pritzker said the bill “marks a substantial step toward dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our communities, our state and our nation.”
“Today, thanks to the hard work of so many people and those watching at home, we advance our values into law, progress secured despite the pandemic because of the passion and the push of the Legislative Black Caucus, activists, advocates and residents intent on leaving a better Illinois, for all of our children,” Pritzker said at a bill-signing ceremony at Chicago State University.