Jersey Co. State’s Attorney Files Suit Over SAFE-T Act

By Benjamin Cox on September 26, 2022 at 1:27pm

The Jersey County State’s Attorney has sued the state over a new criminal justice reform bill.

Riverbender reports that Jersey County State’s Attorney Ben Goetten has sued the State of Illinois in regard to the SAFE-T Act.

Goetten told Riverbender he’s hopeful that the Illinois General Assembly will amend the law prior to implementation on January 1st. Goetten though said he wanted to send a strong message from Jersey County that they weren’t in favor of “installing a revolving door at our jailhouse” when it comes to provisions that eliminating cash bail and requiring circuit judges to determine detainable offenses.

Goetten went on to say the act strips vital tools from law enforcement and strips discretion from judges. “The problems of Cook County are not the problems of downstate communities like ours,” he went on to say.

Goetten says that he used a similar draft complaint filed by the civil division of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. Goetten hopes the courts will render the law unconstitutional or at least put a pause on implementation until 2024 so stakeholders can make what he calls “common sense reforms.”

The SAFE-T Act has continued to be a heated topic for many across the state as the November General Election draws closer. Republicans and Democrats alike have called for reforms of the bill that was signed into law back in January.