Both chambers approved HB 1095 (Representative Slaughter, D-Chicago/Senator Peters, D-Chicago) to make several changes to the SAFE-T Act. The legislation began moving forward when several stakeholder organizations opposed to the underlying Act were sufficiently satisfied to refrain from opposing the trailer bill. HB 1095 was approved by the Senate on a vote of 38-17 and the House on a vote of 71-40. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law. The pre-trial fairness changes within the law take effect on January 1, 2023.
Some of the bill’s key changes are highlighted below:
Cash Bail Transition
The bill addresses the transition from the end of cash bail to the new system scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2023. Under the bill, defendants charged before January 1, 2023, would have the option to remain under the old bail system or be moved to the new system.
Court Hearing Schedules
The timetable for court hearings are as follows: (1) hearings for lowest level offenses must be within 7 days of the request; (2) hearings for those detained, but considered flight risks, would be held within 60 days; and (3) hearings for those considered to be potential threats to safety would be within 90 days.
With respect to trespassing, the amendment clarifies that a police officer can arrest an individual for trespassing if: (1) the person poses a threat to the community or any person; (2) an arrest is necessary because criminal activity would persist after issuance of the citation; or (3) the accused has an obvious medical or mental health issue that poses a risk to their safety.
If none of these conditions is present, a citation will be issued.
The legislation makes the “dangerousness standard” consistent throughout the entire act.
Crimes Eligible for Detention
The bill expands the list of crimes that qualify an individual for detention to include non-probationable felonies, forcible felonies, hate crimes, attempts at crimes that are otherwise detainable and other offenses.
The legislation clarifies that judges can issue arrest warrants or summons when individuals miss their court dates.
Clarification of Willful Flight
The bill elucidates “willful flight” to emphasize the intent, which is to detain those who are actively evading prosecution.