Transforming Justice: Illinois' Pretrial Fairness Act and Its Impact on Survivor Safety

Landmark Legislation: The Pretrial Fairness Act, passed in 2021, is a groundbreaking piece of legislation in Illinois.

Changing the System: The Act represents a significant shift in how pretrial release decisions are made, moving away from wealth-based determinants of safety.

Pioneering Effort: Illinois became the first state in the United States to abolish money bail, marking a historic step towards justice reform.

25 Years of Advocacy: The author of the piece, with 25 years of experience as an advocate for survivors, highlights the importance of risk-based decision-making.

Survivor-Centered Approach: The Act is designed to prioritize the safety of survivors of gender-based violence and the general public.

Misinformation Battles: Opponents of the Act have used fearmongering and misinformation to undermine its success.

Political Debate: Survivors have been unintentionally used as pawns during the political debate surrounding the Act.

Public Safety Concerns: The Act ensures that individuals charged with domestic violence, whether as misdemeanors or felonies, can still be held in jail pretrial when there are public safety concerns.

Protective Orders: Survivors are provided with notice and an opportunity to petition for a domestic violence order of protection before an initial hearing.