Ending cash bail abolishes penalty on poverty, advocates say

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An overhaul of Illinois’ approach to public safety and crime and punishment approved in January has won praise from activists pushing reform since the civil unrest after last year’s police-involved deaths of George Floyd and others.

But critics call the legislation confusing, contradictory, and a threat to public safety. Key among the provisions is an end to cash bail, which legislative sponsors say is a tax on the poor who can’t afford bail to get out before trial.

Police decertification would be easier and body cameras would be required by all departments.