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State Week: Unpacking the SAFE-T Act

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Republicans are using a new state law to raise concerns about crime. They point to Democrats' passage of what has become known as the SAFE-T Act and specifically a provision to end cash bail in Illinois starting next year. They claim it will lead to dangerous criminals being released and put communities at risk.

Our panel offers a primer on the law, how it came about and what it will do. We also examine the GOP messaging that surrounds the law and how Democrats have failed to fully explain the changes to the public.

Host Sean Crawford is joined by Statehouse Editor Hannah Meisel, Professor Emeritus Charlie Wheeler and the Chicago Tribune reporter Jeremy Gorner.

Hannah covers state government and politics for Capital News Illinois. She's been dedicated to the statehouse beat since interning at NPR Illinois in 2014, with subsequent stops at outlets including WILL-AM/FM, Law360, The Daily Line and a temporary stint at political blog Capitol Fax before returning to NPR Illinois in 2020 and moving to CNI in 2023.
The former director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.