Illinois: The state to make “The Purge” become a reality in 2023

Analyzing the dangers the SAFE-T Act will bring to Illinois.

There will be serious changes to Illinois and their safety as they ban cash bail.

There will be serious changes to Illinois and their safety as they ban cash bail.

Zoey Bowers, Features Editor

On Sept. 9, the state of Illinois officially enacted the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today act, also known as the SAFE-T Act, making serious crimes non-detainable as legislators will ban cash bail.

The ironically named act was passed on Jan. 22, 2021 by the Governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, and will begin on Jan. 1, 2023. 

The bill was initially approved and passed in 2021, with law officials knowing the repercussions of the act immediately: the release of 400 prisoners back into the community.

The act basically allows offenders to commit crimes while continuing to live their normal lives, as long as they don’t appear to be a serious threat to society. This is a definite threat to the public, as they will be exposed to individuals who were previously detained for committing minor felonies. 

The act enables the following crimes to be considered non-detainable: second degree murder, arson, burglary, drug-induced homicide, intimidation, kidnapping, robbery, threatening public officials, and aggravated battery, DUI, and fleeing. 

Essentially what this means is that all of these harmful and inhumane acts will occur in Illinois without prosecution until the criminal is proven and seen as guilty within a 48-hour period.

Within the time felons can’t be held behind bars, they will be able to take three phone calls during their three hours of the time spent at the detention center. 

The judge will still have an extremely vital say whether a criminal is eligible for parole or if they still need to serve time if their actions were considered too intense. The lack of time judges have to make their verdict is a major reason for citizens to feel unsafe in their community.

The elimination of the bail has pros and cons along with it. 

Even with the fact that offenders could be sent back into society, the bail still helps prevent those who were convicted of crime to unjustly sit in jail. Rather, they will get their fair trial within a certain span of time. 

The guaranteed plus side to eliminating cash bail is that it creates a difficult process for those who’ve committed unforgivable crimes to be released back due to a large amount of money being taken by the court. 

While the act sounds terrifying to the public, Governor Pritzker said that the act is a “… substantial step towards dismantling the systemic racism,” which from his perspective, creates a more equal opportunity for minorities as they are heavily targeted in criminal justice. 

Though Governor Pritzker expresses he has good intentions when finalizing this act, this ultimately creates an unbalanced societal system as citizens of Illinois may have fear of leaving their own home. 

Another contributing factor is the very obvious fact that the citizens of Illinois will yet again be living in the same community as the person who previously assaulted or harmed them or a loved one. 

Will the state be a safe place for people, or will civilians live in constant fear for their safety?

This is a fair question, as enforcing this could encourage criminals to act out more, knowing they could easily get out of their arrest. 

The state has less than three months to prepare for this incredibly drastic change.

The nation will be able to observe whether this new act will absolutely corrupt the state and their criminal justice system, or whether it fixes current problems the state faces. Either way, it’ll create a huge effect and could potentially be enforced in other states in the near future. 

Once the new year hits, citizens of Illinois will definitely need to look out for themselves and those around them while having to face the uncertainty.