A Victory for Pretrial Fairness - Statement on HB 1095, S2

SPRINGFIELD, IL, Dec. 1, 2022 - Today, Illinois lawmakers passed technical amendments to the state’s SAFE-T Act, a historic reform that takes the next step in creating a more fair and equitable criminal legal system. The SAFE-T Act, which includes the Pretrial Fairness Act, puts our state in the national vanguard on one of the most important issues of our day – ending wealth-based pretrial jailing that weakens communities and is fundamentally unfair. On Jan. 1, 2023, Illinois will become the first state to fully eliminate money bond, which has made us less safe by needlessly destabilizing the lives of our most marginalized residents.

The passage of trailer bill HB1095, SA2 means that these badly needed reforms are fully ready for implementation on Jan. 1, 2023. The bill contains amendments and clarifications that are in line with the law’s original transformative intent and avoids worsening racial disparities or increasing pretrial jailing. The SAFE-T Act was passed in January 2021, allowing two years for preparation and clarifications ahead of implementation.

“We are immensely proud of the joint work by advocacy and community groups, lawmakers, stakeholders from every part of government, faith-based organizations and system partners who fought back against fearmongering and misinformation and preserved the essence of this landmark justice reform,” said Cook County Public Defender Sharone R. Mitchell, Jr.

About us

The Cook County Public Defender's mission is to protect the fundamental rights, liberties and dignity of each person whose case has been entrusted to us by providing the finest legal representation.

The Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender is one of the largest criminal defense firms in the United States, with more than 450 attorneys and more than 650 employees overall. Each year the office represents tens of thousands of Cook County residents charged with every type of criminal offense and child protection violation.


Fiona Ortiz
Deputy of Communications