Nearly 60 lawsuits surrounding the constitutionality of the SAFE-T Act are under motion to consolidate in Kankakee County.
The lawsuits filed by state’s attorneys from around Illinois including in Brown, Scott, Morgan, Greene, and Sangamon counties among others are all making identical claims that the Pretrial Fairness Act that is slated to end cash bail on January 1st and remove detainment on certain offenses for criminal suspects is unconstitutional.
Several state’s attorneys and state lawmakers are holding town halls to hear from constituents who are both for and against the act. State Senator Steve McClure held a town hall Wednesday night at Piper Glen Golf Course in Springfield that was disrupted by demonstrators from the Faith Coalition for the Common Good who say Illinois Republicans are attempting to dismantle the SAFE-T Act. According to WMAY, the group put out a statement Thursday morning saying the concerns being raised are “lies rooted in fear-mongering and racism, and meant to preserve mass incarceration.”
McClure, a Sangamon County prosecutor, contended on What’s On Your Mind on Tuesday that the SAFE-T Act is an attempt to do away with criminal law: “There has been a push among very progress, very liberal members of the Democratic caucus in this state (not just in the Governor’s Office but in the Senate and in the House) to just do away with criminal laws in general. Look at the population of the Department of Corrections since Covid. They used Covid as an excuse to release people from the Department of Corrections, so it’s just this push towards this radical agenda, which includes not having people go to prison, not keeping people in jail, and allowing people to commit crimes but no longer designating those crimes as crimes.”
Because the first lawsuit filed against the SAFE-T Act was filed in Kankakee County, all the cases will be combined there, with a hearing date set for November 22nd in front of the Illinois Supreme Court on the motion to consolidate.