Bail

  • bail reformToday, a new law passed by the Senate to base bail decisions on a defendant’s threat to public safety and flight risk rather than their ability to pay bail became law. The Bail Reform Act of 2017, sponsored by State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), was signed by the governor and goes into effect immediately.

    “Pretrial release must not focus on the defendants’ ability to pay,” said Trotter. “This new law allows the courts to look at the threat to the public safety or their risk of failure to appear.”

    Senate Bill 2034 grants a number of rights to defendants, including the right to a public defender or attorney at their bail hearing, the right to a new bail hearing, and that any bail set should be non-monetary and that the court should address the risk in the least restrictive way possible.

  • bailSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) advanced legislation through the Senate today that will require law enforcement officials to accept cash to post bail. Stadelman’s proposal is Senate Bill 2252.

    The idea was brought to him by Rockford-area resident Kevin Lunsford, whose minor son was arrested for a traffic offense last year.  When Lunsford arrived at the Winnebago County Juvenile Center to bail out his son, the credit card machine was broken and the center has a policy to refuse to take cash.