Illinois Eliminates Cash Bail Option for the Accused

Illinois has become the first state to eliminate cash bail payments.
Bail, which is paid by people accused of crimes so they can be released from jail until their first court hearing, has been criticized as a “poor people’s tax” that has a negative impact on people with lower incomes and people of color. People who can’t afford to make the court-designated payment often sit in jail for weeks or months, and sometimes even cop a plea just to end the ordeal, experts say.
In addition to eliminating bail, the Illinois Pre-Trial Fairness Act requires all police officers to wear body cams by 2025, expands officer training and improves the state’s victim compensation program, according to State Representative Justin Slaughter.
Should the rest of the country follow Illinois’ lead?