Illinois Supreme Court Revamping Pretrial Procedures | WGLT

Illinois Supreme Court Revamping Pretrial Procedures

Oct 27, 2016

Credit Scott Proctor / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois Supreme Court is committing to a redesign of pretrial justice procedures, the system in place to deal with individuals from the time they're arrested, until their case is resolved.

The state is working with the national Pretrial Justice Institute, which is trying to get 20 states on board. Its CEO, Cherise Fanno Burdeen, said Illinois is the second. Fanno Burdeen said one aim is to replace the cash bail system.

She said risk should be based not just on the charge someone was arrested for but also their criminal history.

"And if you make good decisions, about who's safe to release and who isn't, then you can apply the kinds of conditions upon their release that help ensure they get back to court and keep out of trouble," she said.

She said there's no evidence money bail helps with that. Another objective is to send fewer people to jail before trial, so only those deemed dangerous to society get locked up.

Though the changes are expected to go be made largely through the judicial system, State Representative Carol Ammons, a Democrat from Urbana, backs the effort.