FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

A new coalition of sheriffs, police chiefs, and police unions is joining up to fight plans to eliminate cash bail in Illinois. 

The Illinois Sheriff’s Association, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, Chicago Lodge 7 Fraternal Order of Police, the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police were all represented to push back against the elimination of cash bail Monday in Springfield.

Jim Kaitschuk with the Illinois Sheriff’s Association said immediately letting people facing serious charges out on the streets leads to more serious crimes. 

“This is not the way to make the criminal justice system more equitable,” he said.

McDonough County Sheriff Nicholas Petitgout said lawmakers and the governor’s office, which supports the elimination of cash bail, aren’t including them in the discussion.

“Unfortunately, Springfield isn’t providing the type of help that we need to keep communities safe,” he said.

They were requesting meetings with lawmakers and the governor’s office on the matter.

Opponents of cash bond requirements have said the practice is discriminatory toward low-income people who are often minorities. 

“In many cases we have people sitting in county jails, 80- or 90-percent of them, who just can’t get out for a small amount of bail that you and I probably could afford, but other people who are indigent or low income cannot afford that,” said state Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, last week.

Officials in New York are beginning to second guess a decision to eliminate of cash bail in most criminal cases, according to NBC News, after a number of those arrested were released and subsequently committed more, often serious crimes.

– The Center Square


Regional Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.