Sheriffs in southern Illinois say they are bracing for more crime and more victims that result from the end of cash bail across the state.
“Folks who live here are extremely concerned,” Franklin County Sheriff Kyle Bacon told Fox News. “It’s an experiment on the backs of victims of crime. I have serious concerns and so do the people that live here.”
On Tuesday, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of eliminating the state’s cash bail system. The ruling takes effect Sept. 18, making Illinois the first state to fully abolish cash bail.
Under the new law, judges across Illinois will not require those charged with a crime to post bail in order to be released from jail while they await trial, unless the judge determines them a threat to the public or a flight risk.
Sheriff Jeff Bullard of Jefferson County said law enforcement and attorneys will be the ones who bear the brunt of these changes.
“We did our job. We arrested them, incarcerated them,” Bullard told Fox News, “and then the state’s attorney makes the argument that they should be remanded for trial, and the judge, based on the SAFE-T Act guidelines, says, ‘Now I’m forced to let them go.’”
“That’s going to increase crime victim frustration … and we share that frustration with them,” he said.