February 15, 2021
UPDATE: On February 22, 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 3653 Senate Amendment 2 into law as Public Act 101-0652 – dubbed the SAFE-T Act (Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity – Today).
On January 13, 2021 in the final hours of the lame duck session of the 101st General Assembly, the Illinois House and Senate passed a broad criminal justice reform bill. House Bill 3653 Senate Amendment 2, sponsored by Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. and Representative Justin Slaughter, impacts many aspects of the criminal justice system including policing, pretrial court processes and sentencing and prison policies. The following is an abbreviated summary of the major provisions included in the bill. For complete details, see the full bill. The provisions of this Act take effect on July 1, 2021 unless noted otherwise.
Reader’s Note: In compiling this bill summary, Civic Federation staff have done our best to assure the summary is accurate and objective. However, we welcome readers’ feedback if you believe you find any errors or omissions. Please contact [email protected] with any corrections.
- Standardized Use of Force: Creates the Statewide Use of Force Standardization Act, stating that it is the intent of the General Assembly to establish statewide use of force standards for law enforcement agencies effective January 1, 2022.
- Residency Requirements: Amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act relating to arbitration on residency requirements, reducing the size of a municipalities eligible for arbitration with regard to residency requirements from municipalities under a population of 1 million to municipalities under a population of 100,000.
- Co-Responder Model: Amends the Community-Law Enforcement Partnership for Deflection and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act by adding “Other First Responder” language for purposes of developing and implementing collaborative deflection programs for substance use treatment and other services as an alternative to traditional criminal justice system involvement and unnecessary emergency department admissions. Adds funding and training requirements. In order to receive funding, planning for the deflection program must include an agreement with participating licensed treatment providers authorizing the release of statistical data to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA). Up to 10% of funding for law enforcement and other first responder entities may be spent on training, education and technical assistance. Includes a requirement that funding for deflection programs be prioritized for communities impacted by the war on drugs, communities with police/community relations issues and that disproportionately lack access to mental health and drug treatment. Allows for funding eligibility for naloxone and related overdose reversal supplies and treatment necessary to prevent gaps in service delivery between coverage by other funding sources.
- Unconstitutional Patterns or Practice of Conduct: Amends the Attorney General Act to authorize the Illinois Attorney General to investigate and bring civil action to eliminate a pattern or practice of conduct by officers that deprives any person of rights, privileges, or immunities protected by the U.S. Constitution or laws or the Illinois Constitution or laws. Provides the Attorney General with the authority to conduct examinations and collect statements under oath and issue subpoenas or conduct hearings to aid the investigation. The civil action must be commenced within 5 years of the occurrence or termination of an alleged violation. Allows the Attorney General to require the payment of civil penalties up to $25,000 and up to $50,000 for a second violation within 5 years.
- Sworn Affidavits: Amends the State Police Act and the Uniform Peace Officers’ Disciplinary Act to allow for the filing of a complaint against a police officer without a sworn affidavit or other legal documentation. The elimination of the affidavit requirement also applies to any collective bargaining agreements entered into after the effective date.
- Administrative Investigation Notice Requirements: Amends the Uniform Peace Officers’ Disciplinary Act to remove requirements that officers under investigation be informed of the names of complainants in advance of administrative proceedings and the name, rank and unit or command of the officer in charge of the investigation.
- Anonymous Complaints: Amends the Police and Community Relations Improvement Act to allow any person to file a notice of an anonymous complaint to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board (ILETSB) for conduct that would qualify an officer for decertification (this includes the following: a felony or misdemeanor, excessive use of force, failing to comply with duty to intervene, tampered with a dash camera or body camera, committed perjury, made a false statement, tampered with or fabricated evidence, or engaged in unprofessional or unethical conduct). Provides that ILETSB will investigate allegations and complete a preliminary review to determine whether further investigation is warranted. If ILETSB determines there is objective verifiable evidence to support the allegations, the Board will complete a sworn affidavit override. Effective January 1, 2023.
- Limits on Military Equipment: Amends the State Police Act, the Counties Code and the Illinois Municipal Code to forbid the Illinois State Police, sheriffs’ departments and police departments from purchasing, requesting or receiving from any military surplus program the following equipment: tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft or vehicles, .50-caliber or higher firearms and ammunition, grenade launchers, or bayonets.
- Whistleblower Protection: Amends the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act to prohibit a unit of local government, a representative of a local government, or another employee from retaliating against an employee or contractor who reports an improper governmental action, cooperates with an investigation, or testifies in a proceeding or prosecution. To invoke these protections, the employee must make a written report to the appropriate auditing official, and each auditing official is required to establish written procedures for managing complaints. To remedy adverse actions against employees for reporting improper government action, the employee may receive restitution. Retaliatory actions are subject to a penalty of between $500 and $5,000, suspension without pay, demotion, discharge, and civil or criminal prosecution.
- Retention of Police Misconduct Records: Amends the Local Records Act, requiring that all public and nonpublic records related to complaints, investigations, and adjudications of police misconduct be permanently retained and may not be destroyed.
- Officer Professional Conduct Database: Amends the Illinois Police Training Act to require law enforcement agencies to notify the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board of misconduct or a violation of agency policy when an officer resigns during the course of an investigation based on any felony or sex offense. Previously law enforcement agencies were required to notify the Board of any Class 2 felony or greater offense. Provides State’s Attorneys with access to the officer professional conduct database.
- Police Officer Training Requirements: Amends the Illinois Police Training Act. Requires crisis intervention training for probationary police officers, including: 12 hours of hands-on, scenario-based role playing; 6 hours of instruction on use of force techniques including de-escalation techniques; specific training on officer safety techniques; and 6 hours of training focused on high-risk traffic stops. Requires implicit bias and racial and ethnic sensitivity training as part of minimum in-service training an officer must complete every three years. Requires training on emergency medical response training and certification, crisis intervention training, and officer wellness and mental health to be completed as part of minimum in-service training an officer must complete annually (previously officer wellness and mental health training were required every three years). Requires 40 hours of crisis intervention training addressing specialized policing responses to people with mental illness. Requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to adopt rules and minimum standards for in-service training requirements (mandatory training of 30 hours to be completed every three years) including on use of force and de-escalation techniques.
- Mental Health Screening: Amends the Illinois Police Training Act by adding to the powers and duties of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board the authority to establish statewide standards regarding regular mental health screenings for probationary and permanent police officers, ensuring that counseling sessions and screenings remain confidential.
- Body Cameras: Amends the Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act to require all law enforcement agencies to use officer-worn body cameras, to be phased in between January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2025 based on population size of the municipality or county. Law enforcement agencies in compliance with the requirements will receive preference by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board in awarding grant funding under the Law Enforcement Camera Grant Act. Revises some of the guidelines and requirements for use of body cameras, including allowing only supervisors and not the recording officer to review recordings prior to completing incident reports. Requires all law enforcement agencies to provide an annual report on the use of officer-worn body cameras to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board.
- Crime Statistics Reporting: Amends the Uniform Crime Reporting Act to include monthly reports required from each law enforcement agency to be made available by the Department of State Police, in addition to compilations of annual crime statistics.
- Use of Force Reporting: Amends the Uniform Crime Reporting Act to require the Department of State Police to regularly submit use of force information to the FBI National Use of Force Database. Requires all law enforcement agencies to report on use of force to the Department of State Police on a monthly basis beginning July 1, 2021. Also requires law enforcement agencies to report on any incident where an officer was dispatched to deal with a person experiencing a mental health crisis beginning July 1, 2021.
- Limitations on Use of Force: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012, adding language regarding when a peace officer is justified in use of force when making an arrest: when the officer believes “based on the totality of the circumstances” that force is necessary to defend himself or another from bodily harm, or when an officer believes that force is necessary to prevent resistance or escape if the officer “reasonably believes the person to be apprehended cannot be apprehended at a later date and is likely to cause great bodily harm to another” and the person “just” committed or attempted a forcible felony involving bodily harm or is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon.
- Prohibits using deadly force against someone based on the danger that person poses to themselves if they do not pose an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person. Prohibits using deadly force against someone committing a property offense unless the offense is terrorism or unless deadly force is otherwise authorized by law.
- In addition to chokeholds, prohibits using restraint above the shoulders with risk of asphyxiation unless deadly force is justified.
- Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to adopt and develop policies designed to protect individuals with physical, mental health, developmental, or intellectual disabilities.
- Prohibits discharging kinetic impact projectiles (e.g. rubber bullets) in a manner that targets the head, pelvis or back, discharging firearms or kinetic impact projectiles indiscriminately into a crowd, or using chemical agents or irritants including pepper spray and tear gas prior to issuing an order to disperse, followed by sufficient time and space to allow for compliance with the order to disperse.
- Regarding use of force to prevent escape, a peace officer who has an arrested person in custody is justified in the use of force, but not deadly force, to prevent escape. Prohibits use of deadly force to prevent escape unless based on the totality of the circumstances, deadly force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to an officer or another person.
- Creates a duty for all law enforcement officers to render medical aid and assistance as soon as reasonably practical, whether as a result of use of force or otherwise.
- Creates a duty for a peace officer to intervene to prevent another peace officer from using unauthorized force. The intervening peace officer must report the intervention within 5 days of the incident. Prohibits discipline or retaliation against a peace officer for intervening.
- Law Enforcement Misconduct: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012, stating a law enforcement officer commits misconduct when he or she misrepresents facts, withholds knowledge, fails to comply with the officer-worn body camera act, or commits any other act with the intent to avoid culpability or liability for himself or another. Makes law enforcement misconduct a Class 3 felony.
- Right to Communicate with Attorney and Family in Police Custody: Amends the Criminal Code of Procedure of 1963 to give people in police custody the right to make three phone calls as soon as possible upon being taken into police custody, but no later than three hours after arrival at the place of custody. Police custody facilities must post a sign with a statement notifying those in custody of their right to make 3 phone calls within 3 hours at no charge and the phone number of the public defender’s office. The phone call to the attorney cannot be monitored, eavesdropped or recorded. People in police custody must be given access to use a telephone via a land line or cell phone to make the phone calls and the ability to retrieve phone numbers contained in their cell phone prior to the phone being placed into inventory.
- Use of Force in Executing Search Warrants: Amends the Criminal Code of Procedure of 1963, requiring that prior to executing a no-knock warrant, the officer must attest that a supervising officer will ensure that each participating member is assigned a body worn camera and following body camera procedures prior to entering the location, that steps were taken in planning the search to ensure accuracy and plan for children or other vulnerable people on-site, and if an officer becomes aware the search warrant was executed at an address different from the location listed on the search warrant, that officer will immediately notify a supervisor who will ensure an internal investigation ensues.
- Constitutional Rights and Remedies: Creates the Task Force on Constitutional Rights and Remedies Act to develop and propose policies and procedures to review and reform constitutional rights and remedies, including qualified immunity for peace officers (with the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority providing administrative support). The Task Force will have one year to submit a report with findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly.
Police Certification and Decertification Procedures
Amends the State Police Act and Illinois Police Training Act to establish new uniform processes for investigation of misconduct by law enforcement and decertification processes, effective January 1, 2022.
- Illinois State Police Merit Board: Increases the number of State Police Merit Board members from 5 to 7 and creates other requirements for Board members.
- Reporting: Requires the Merit Board to file an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly with information about terminations, cadet tests administered, the number of cadet applicants who failed the background investigation, new certifications from each cadet class, promotional assessments administered and the number of people certified for promotion. Also requires the Merit Board to submit an annual disciplinary data report to the Governor and General Assembly with statistics about the number of complaints received, the number of internal investigations initiated, concluded and pending, the number of Merit Board referrals, the number of officers decertified and the number of investigations that led to a determination of administratively closed, exonerated, not sustained, sustained, and unfounded.
- Officer Professional Conduct Database (Officer Misconduct Database):
- The Illinois State Police Merit Board will be responsible for reporting all required information in the Officer Misconduct Database.
- The Merit Board must search the database before certifying any Illinois State Police cadet and the database must be checked before a governmental agency may appoint a law enforcement officer or a person seeking a certification as a law enforcement officer.
- The database and other documents and information in possession of the Board are confidential and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act or subpoena.
- The database will be accessible to any chief administrative officer of any governmental agency, the Illinois State Police, any county State’s Attorney and the Attorney General for the purposes of hiring law enforcement officers.
- Requires all governmental agencies and the Illinois State Police to notify the Merit Board of any final determination of a willful violation of policy, official misconduct, or violation of law when the determination leads to a suspension of at least 10 days, the infraction triggers an official investigation, there is an allegation of misconduct or regarding truthfulness as to a material fact, bias, or integrity, or the officer resigns or retires during the course of an investigation. Also requires reporting to the Board within 10 days of a final determination, final administrative appeal or a law enforcement officer's resignation, including information regarding the nature of the violation. Upon receiving notification, the Board must notify the law enforcement officer of the report and the officer's right to provide a statement regarding the reported violation.
- In addition to the Officer Misconduct Database, the Merit Board is required to maintain two public searchable databases: a database of law enforcement officers and a database of all completed investigations against law enforcement officers related to decertification (this database will not include the names of officers).
- Requires the Merit Board to submit an annual report to the Governor, Attorney General, President and Minority Leader of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives beginning on March 1, 2023 with the number of complaints received (including the race, gender, and type of complaints received), the number of investigations initiated and concluded in the preceding year, the number of investigations pending as of the reporting date, the number of hearings held and the number of officers decertified.
- Illinois Law Enforcement Certification Review Panel: Amends the Illinois Police Training Act to create an Illinois Law Enforcement Certification Review Panel with 11 members—3 appointed by the Governor and 8 appointed by the Attorney General, with requirements that appointees represent certain groups including law enforcement, State’s Attorneys, victims and the community, as well as training requirements. The Panel and the Merit Board are given the power to suspend, limit, restrict or revoke any certificate, to subpoena any person or entity and documents/records, to order the person to appear to give testimony and to produce evidence, and administer oaths to witnesses.
- Automatic Termination: Requires automatic termination of a state police officer convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors. The Illinois State Police Merit Board must report terminations under this Section to the Officer Misconduct Database.
- Discretionary Termination: The Illinois State Police Merit Board may terminate an Illinois State Police officer upon determination that the officer has committed an act that would constitute a felony or misdemeanor that could serve as basis for automatic decertification, used excessive force, failed to comply with the officer’s duty to intervene, tampered with dash camera or body camera data or directed another to turn their camera off for purposes of concealing, destroying or altering potential evidence, committed perjury, made a false statement, knowingly tampered with evidence, or engaged in any other conduct while on active duty that involves moral turpitude. The Merit Board must report all terminations under this Section to the Office Misconduct Database.
- Automatic Decertification: Creates new procedures for the automatic decertification of law enforcement officers.
- Expands the review of law enforcement officers by the Board to ensure no officer is certified who has been found guilty or entered a plea of nolo contendere to a felony or specific misdemeanors, in addition to having been convicted or entered a plea of guilty to a felony or certain misdemeanors.
- Requires the sheriff or chief executive of every governmental agency to report to the Board any arrest, conviction, finding of guilt, plea of guilty, or plea of nolo contendere of any officer regardless of whether the adjudication of guilt or sentence is withheld or not entered, including sentences of supervision, conditional discharge, or first offender probation.
- Reduces the time period required for law enforcement officers to report to the Board their arrest, conviction, guilty finding or guilty plea from 30 days to 14 days. Any officer who is convicted, found guilty, or entered a plea of guilty, or entered a plea of nolo contendere immediately becomes decertified.
- Discretionary Decertification: Creates new procedures for the discretionary decertification of law enforcement officers.
- The Board has the authority to decertify a full-time or a part-time law enforcement officer upon a determination that the officer has committed a felony or misdemeanor which could serve as basis for automatic decertification, used excessive force, failed to comply with the officer’s duty to intervene, tampered with dash camera or body camera data or directed another to turn their camera off for purposes of concealing, destroying or altering potential evidence, committed perjury, made a false statement, knowingly tampered with evidence, or engaged in any unprofessional or unethical conduct.
- Creates procedures for submitting notice of the violation to the Board (which allows for notice to be submitted confidentially by any person), preliminary review of the alleged violation, investigations, filing of formal complaints with the Certification Review Panel, administrative hearings, final action by the Board and filing for reconsideration of the Board’s decision.
- Prohibits any individual not certified by the Board or whose certified status is inactive from functioning as a law enforcement officer. A law enforcement officer's certification becomes inactive upon termination, resignation, retirement, or separation from the officer's employing governmental agency for any reason. Provides procedures for re-activating a certification.
- Emergency Order of Suspension: Allows the Board to immediately suspend a law enforcement officer's certification upon being notified that the officer has been arrested or indicted on any felony charges. The Board must also notify the chief administrator of any governmental agency currently employing the officer.
- Law Enforcement Compliance Verification: Requires all law enforcement officers to submit a verification form every three years that confirms compliance, including verification of completion of mandatory training programs, the law enforcement officer's current employment information (including termination of any previous law enforcement or security employment in the three-year period), and a statement verifying that the officer has not committed misconduct.
- Sheriff Qualifications: Adds to existing sheriff qualifications (that a sheriff be U.S. citizen, resident of the county for at least one year and not a convicted felon) a requirement to have a certificate attesting to his or her successful completion of the Minimum Standards Basic Law Enforcement Officers Training Course as prescribed by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board or a substantially similar training program of another state or the federal government. Sheriffs currently serving on the effective date are exempt.
The following pretrial provisions take effect January 1, 2023, unless otherwise noted.
- Abolishment of Cash Bail: The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 is amended to abolish the requirement of posting monetary bail on or after January 1, 2023. Revisions are made to multiple statutes to replace references to “bail” and “conditions of bail” with “pretrial release” and “conditions of pretrial release.” Removes language from the Counties Code to eliminate sheriffs’ fees related to taking special bail and from the Clerks of Courts Act regarding credit card or debit card payment of bail bond fees.
- Pretrial Data Collection: Calls for the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) to convene a Pretrial Practices Data Oversight Board under the Administrative Director to oversee the collection and analysis of pretrial practices data in circuit court systems. The Oversight Board will identify existing data collection processes in local jurisdictions, gather and maintain records from local criminal justice agencies, identify resources needed to systematically collect and report pretrial data, develop a plan to implement data collection processes and publish reports on the AOIC website. The Board must develop a strategy to collect quarterly, county-level data on the following topics: arrests and charges; outcomes of pretrial hearings and pretrial conditions; information about the detained jail population and average length of stay for pretrial defendants; information about electronic monitoring programs; discharge data; rearrests of individuals released pretrial; failure to appear rates; and information on validated risk assessment tools used in each jurisdiction and comparisons of judges’ release/detention decisions to risk assessment scores of individuals. Effective July 1, 2021.
- Domestic Violence Pretrial Practices Working Group: Amends the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority Act to create a Domestic Violence Pretrial Practices Working Group convened by ICJIA to research current practices in pretrial domestic violence courts throughout Illinois. The Working Group is required to meet quarterly, issue a preliminary report within 15 months, and issue a final report with recommendations for evidence-based improvements to court procedures within 15 months of the preliminary report. Effective July 1, 2021.
- Notice to Crime Victims: Crime victims shall be given notice by the State’s Attorney’s office of the defendant’s initial pretrial hearing and be informed of their opportunity to obtain an order of protection at the hearing.
- Violation of Conditions: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to make a violation of conditions of pretrial release a Class A misdemeanor if the underlying offense was a felony and a Class C misdemeanor if the underlying offense was a misdemeanor. Previously the violation would have been the next lower class offense.
- Arrest and Release from Law Enforcement Custody: Amends Article 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 to add the following provisions.
- Requires law enforcement to issue a citation in lieu of custodial arrest for traffic offenses, Class B and C misdemeanor offenses or petty and business offenses in which the person poses no obvious threat to the community or another person and who have no medical or mental health issues that pose a risk to their own safety. Those released on citation must be scheduled into court within 21 days.
- Allows law enforcement officers to release a person arrested for an offense for which pretrial release may not be denied without appearing before a judge, with a summons to appear in court within 21 days. Creates a presumption in favor of pretrial release by the arresting officer.
- Requires that upon initial appearance before the court, the defendant be released or, upon verified petition of the State, that a detention hearing be set.
- Requires the person charged to be present in person at the hearing at which conditions of pretrial release are determined unless there is a safety risk to the person appearing in court or the accused waives the right to be present in person.
- Requires that defense counsel be given adequate opportunity to confer with the defendant prior to any hearing in which conditions of release or the detention are considered, with a physical accommodation made to facilitate attorney/client consultation.
- Requires that when a defendant charged with a felony has a warrant in another Illinois county, the defendant be taken to the county that issued the warrant within 72 hours of completion of the initial hearing.
- Pretrial Release Procedures: Amends Article 110 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 to add the following provisions regarding pretrial release.
- Release on Own Recognizance: Creates a presumption to release a defendant on personal recognizance on the condition that the defendant attends all required court proceedings, does not commit any criminal offense and complies with all terms of pretrial release. Additional conditions of release shall be set only when it is determined that they are necessary to assure the defendant's appearance in court, assure the defendant does not commit any criminal offense, and complies with all conditions of pretrial release. Detention only shall be imposed when it is determined that the defendant poses a specific, real and present threat to a person, or has a high likelihood of willful flight. If the court decides to detain the defendant, the court must make a written finding as to why less restrictive conditions would not assure safety to the community and the defendant's appearance in court. At each subsequent court hearing, the judge must find that continued detention or conditions imposed are necessary to avoid a specific, real and present threat to any person or willful flight from prosecution.
- Options for warrant alternatives: Establishes procedures for when a defendant fails to comply with any pretrial release condition. The court may issue an order to show cause as to why the defendant’s pretrial release should not be revoked. A certified copy of the order must be served upon the person at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled hearing. If the person does not appear at the hearing to show cause, the court may issue an arrest warrant. Allows the warrant to modify any previously imposed conditions rather than revoking pretrial release or issuing a warrant. Prevents the court from recording a failure to appear until the defendant fails to appear at the hearing to show cause. Prevents a non-appearance in court cured by an appearance at the hearing to show cause from being considered as evidence of the defendant’s future likelihood of failing to appear.
- Pretrial Release: Pretrial release may only be denied when a person is charged with an offense that qualifies for denial of pretrial release (as defined in 725 ILCS 5/110-6.1) or when the defendant has a high likelihood of willful flight, and after the court has held a detention hearing.
- Determining Conditions of Release: Establishes procedures for determining conditions of pretrial release, including the factors the court is required to take into account (including the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, the weight of the evidence against the defendant, the defendant’s history and characteristics and the risks that would be posed by the defendant's release). Allows the court to use a validated risk assessment tool to aid in determination of appropriate conditions of release, but risk assessment tools may not be used as the sole basis to deny pretrial release. Requires that the defendant's counsel be provided with the scoring system of the risk assessment tool. The defendant has the right to challenge the validity of a risk assessment tool used and present evidence relevant to the challenge. If a defendant remains in pretrial detention after having been ordered released with pretrial conditions, the court must hold a hearing to determine the reason for continued detention. Requires the court to appoint a public defender or licensed attorney to represent the defendant prior to their first appearance.
- Electronic Monitoring and Home Confinement as a Condition of Release: Electronic monitoring, GPS monitoring or home confinement can only be imposed as a condition of pretrial release if no less restrictive condition or combination of conditions of release would reasonably ensure the appearance of the defendant for later hearings or protect an identifiable person(s) from imminent threat of serious physical harm. If the court imposes electronic monitoring, GPS monitoring or home confinement, the court must state in the record the basis for its finding. Requires that defendants receive custodial credit for each day on a home confinement or electronic monitoring program. The court must determine every 60 days if no less restrictive condition or combination of conditions of release would reasonably ensure the defendant’s appearance at later hearings or protect an identifiable person from threat of serious physical harm. If the court finds that there are less restrictive conditions of release, the court must order that the condition be removed.
- Revocation of pretrial release and modification of conditions of pretrial release: When a defendant is granted pretrial release, pretrial release may only be revoked if the defendant is charged with a detainable felony (as defined in 725 ILCS 5/110-6.1) or if the defendant is charged with a new felony or Class A misdemeanor. Establishes procedures for revocation of pretrial release. Allows the State to file a verified petition for revocation of pretrial release when the defendant is charged with a subsequent felony or class A misdemeanor offense while on pretrial release. Requires the State to file a verified petition for revocation of pretrial release when a defendant on pretrial release is charged with a violation of an order of protection and the subject of the order of protection is the same person as the victim in the underlying matter. Allows the court to revoke the defendant's pretrial release if it finds clear and convincing evidence that no condition or combination of conditions of release would reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant for later hearings or prevent the defendant from being charged with a subsequent felony or class A misdemeanor. Allows the court to modify conditions of pretrial release in lieu of revocation. Allows the court to remove previously set conditions of pretrial release. The court may only add or increase conditions of pretrial release at a hearing, in a warrant issued, or upon motion from the state. Regarding contact with victims or witnesses, the court is prohibited from removing a previously set condition regulating contact with a victim or witness unless the subject of the condition has been given notice of the hearing.
- Sanctions for violations of conditions of pretrial release: Authorizes the State to request a hearing for sanctions after a defendant fails to appear or is arrested for an offense other than a felony or class A misdemeanor. In order to impose sanctions, the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant violated a term of their pretrial release, had actual knowledge that their action would violate a court order, willfully violated the court order and the violation was not due to a lack of access to financial monetary resources. Sanctions may include a verbal or written admonishment from the court, imprisonment in the county jail for up to 30 days, a fine of up to $200 or a modification of the defendant's pretrial conditions.
- Denial of Pretrial Release: Establishes the process and criteria under which a defendant may be denied pretrial release (725 ILCS 5/110-6.1). Upon verified petition by the State, the court must hold a hearing at which it may deny the defendant pretrial release if:
- The defendant is charged with a forcible felony for which a sentence of imprisonment without probation, periodic imprisonment or conditional discharge is required by law upon conviction, and the defendant's release poses a specific, real and present threat to any person or the community;
- The defendant is charged with stalking or aggravated stalking and the defendant's release poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of a victim of the alleged offense;
- The defendant is charged with domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery and the defendant's release poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of any person(s);
- The defendant is charged with a sex offense (excluding public indecency, adultery, fornication and bigamy) and it is alleged that the defendant's pretrial release poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of any person(s);
- The defendant is charged with certain violations under the Criminal Code of 2012 and the defendant's release poses a real and present threat to the physical safety of any specifically identifiable person(s); or
- The person has a high likelihood of willful flight to avoid prosecution and is charged with a non-probationable forcible felony, stalking or aggravated stalking, domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery, a sex offense (excluding public indecency, adultery, fornication and bigamy), or a felony other than a Class 4 felony.
The detention hearing process requires the court to hold a hearing immediately upon the filing of the petition by the State, unless a continuance is requested. If a continuance is requested, the hearing must be held within 48 hours of the defendant's first appearance if the defendant is charged with a Class X, Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 felony, and within 24 hours if the defendant is charged with a Class 4 felony or misdemeanor offense. The Court can deny or grant the request for continuance, and retains the discretion to detain or release the defendant in the time between the filing of the petition and the hearing. The State bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed an offense that qualifies for pretrial detention, that the defendant poses a real and present threat to the safety of a specific, identifiable person and that no condition or combination of conditions can mitigate the risk of releasing the defendant to a person’s safety or the defendant’s risk of willful flight. Establishes procedures for conduct of the detention hearing.
Prison and Sentencing Reforms
- Prison Gerrymandering: Creates the No Representation Without Population Act, which provides for a process of using prison inmates’ most recent known address prior to incarceration for purposes of redistricting legislative districts. Requires the Illinois Department of Corrections to collect and maintain electronic records of the legal residence and demographic data for each person in custody and provide a report to the State Board of Elections each year when the federal decennial census is taken with de-identified inmate data (effective January 1, 2025). The data cannot be used in the distribution of any state or federal aid.
- Reporting of Deaths in Custody: Creates the Reporting of Deaths in Custody Act, which creates a process and procedures for investigating and reporting deaths that occur in the custody of any law enforcement agency or correctional facility as a result of a peace officer’s use of force. Reports must be submitted to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA). Includes requirements for ICJIA to post the information collected to its website on a quarterly basis and issue a public annual report evaluating trends on deaths in custody. Also includes requirements for notifying the person’s family.
- Sentence Credits: Amends the Unified Code of Corrections to allow the Illinois Department of Corrections Director to award up to 180 days of earned sentence credit for prisoners serving a sentence of less than 5 years, and up to 365 days of earned sentence credit for prisoners serving a sentence of 5 years or longer. Previously only up to 180 days of earned sentence credit could be granted for any sentence term. Allows prisoners to earn sentence credits for participation in certain programs including substance abuse programs, correctional industry assignments, educational programs, work-release programs, behavior modification programs, life skills courses, re-entry planning, self-improvement programs, volunteer work, work assignments, or obtaining an associate degree while in custody. Requires the Department of Corrections to prescribe rules and regulations for revoking and restoration of sentence credits.
- Sentencing/Mandatory Minimums: Amends the Unified Code of Corrections to require the court, when imposing a sentence for a Class 3 or 4 felony, to indicate in the sentencing order whether the defendant has 4 or more or fewer than 4 months remaining on his or her sentence accounting for time served. When an offender is sentenced for a Class 3 or 4 felony and has less than 4 months remaining on his or her sentence, they cannot be confined in prison but may be assigned to electronic home detention, an adult transition center, or another facility or program within the Department of Corrections. When imposing a sentence for an offense that requires a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment, the court may instead sentence the offender to probation, conditional discharge, or a lesser term of imprisonment it deems appropriate if the offense involves the use or possession of drugs, retail theft, or driving on a revoked license due to unpaid financial obligations; if the court finds that the defendant does not pose a risk to public safety; and if the interest of justice requires imposing a term of probation, conditional discharge, or a lesser term of imprisonment.
- Mandatory Supervised Release Terms: Amends the Unified Code of Corrections to revise the terms of mandatory supervised release for certain offenses. Reduces the mandatory supervised release term for a Class X felony (excluding a number of offenses identified in 730 ILCS 5/3-6-3 requiring 85% of the sentence to be served) from 3 years to 18 months. Offenses of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and criminal sexual assault, if they were committed on or before December 12, 2005, will carry a term of 3 years of mandatory supervised release. Reduces the mandatory supervised release term for a Class 1 or Class 2 felony (except for criminal sexual assault) from 2 years to 12 months. Prohibits (with exceptions for certain offenses) mandatory supervised release from being imposed for a Class 3 or Class 4 felony unless the Prisoner Review Board determines it is necessary based on a validated risk and needs assessment.
- Habitual Criminal: Amends the definition of habitual criminal in the Unified Code of Corrections by adding that the person’s first offense must have been committed when he or she was 21 years of age or older. Also adds “forcible” to a provision stating that when a defendant over the age of 21 years is convicted of a Class 1 or Class 2 forcible felony after two prior convictions of a Class 1 or Class 2 forcible felony, the defendant shall be sentenced as a Class X offender.
- Felony-Murder Law: Amends the Criminal Code of 2012, clarifying that in order to be charged with first degree murder when committing a forcible felony other than second degree murder in which another individual dies, the person or another participant acting with them must have caused the death.
- Credit for Time in Custody: Amends the Unified Code of Corrections to clarify how home confinement is defined for purposes of sentencing credit for time in custody. Directs that home detention includes restrictions on liberty such as curfews restricting movement for 12 hours or more per day and electronic monitoring that restricts travel or movement. Electronic monitoring is not required for home detention to be considered custodial for purposes of sentencing credit. Removes language prohibiting an offender from receiving credit for time spent in home detention when serving a term of imprisonment for an offense that is ineligible for probation.
- Electronic Monitoring: Amends Article 8A of the Unified Code of Corrections regarding electronic monitoring and home detention. Adds that approved absences from the home shall include purchasing groceries, food, or other basic necessities. Requires that anyone ordered to home confinement, with or without electronic monitoring, be provided with open movement spread out over no fewer than two days per week. Requires that in order for someone to be guilty of an escape or violation of a condition of an electronic monitoring or home detention program, the person must remain in violation for at least 48 hours.
- Eligibility for Programs Restricted by Felony Background: Amends the Unified Code of Corrections to require that convictions entered prior to the effective date of the Act for certain drug offenses be treated as a Class A misdemeanor for the purposes of evaluating a defendant's eligibility for programs of qualified probation, impact incarceration, or any other diversion, deflection, probation, or other program for which felony background or delinquency background is a factor in determining eligibility.
- Pregnant Prisoners: Amends the Counties Code, Unified Code of Corrections and County Jail Act to require training on the medical and mental health care issues applicable to pregnant prisoners. Also requires educational programing for pregnant prisoners. Requires that for 72 hours after the birth of an infant by a prisoner, the infant be allowed to remain with the prisoner and that the prisoner have access to any nutritional or hygiene-related products necessary to care for the infant. Prohibits placing a pregnant prisoner or a prisoner who gave birth during the preceding 30 days in administrative segregation unless the corrections director believes there is safety risk.
- Crime Victims Compensation: Amends the Crime Victims Compensation Act.
- Amends the definition of victim to include children of a person killed or injured and the definition of relative to include anyone living in the household who holds a relationship with the killed or injured that is substantially similar to that of a parent, spouse, or child. Removes language indicating the child or stepchild must be unmarried and under 18.
- Increases the pecuniary loss limit for the cost of transport for deceased victims from $7,500 to $10,000 and for the cost of funeral and burial in the case of dismemberment or desecration of a body from $7,500 to $10,000. Also increases the limit for eligible loss of earnings or support the victim may receive from $1,250 per month to $2,400 per month.
- Adds that a victim's criminal history or felony status shall not automatically prevent their compensation. Removes a provision that a person convicted of a felony cannot receive compensation until they are discharged from probation, parole or mandatory supervised release (but retains a provision that prohibits providing compensation to a victim while the victim is held in a correctional institution).
- Requires the Attorney General to investigate all claims and present an investigatory report and a draft award determination to the Court of Claims for a review period of 28 business days, and provide the applicant with a compensation determination letter upon conclusion of the review by the Court of Claims.
- Increases the time limit within which an applicant may apply for compensation from within 2 years of the occurrence of the crime to within 5 years, and increases the time limit within which a person entitled to compensation who is under 18 years of age or under other legal disability can file an application. The Attorney General and the Court of Claims may accept an application presented after the time limit if a good cause for a delay is determined.
- Removes a provision stating a person is entitled to compensation if the injury or death of the victim was not substantially attributable to his own wrongful act and was not substantially provoked by the victim.
- Adds factors the Attorney General and Court of Claims may consider in determining whether cooperation is reasonable including the victim's age, physical condition, psychological state, cultural or linguistic barriers and compelling health and safety concerns, including a reasonable fear of retaliation or harm.
- Traffic Fines: Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code, requiring the Secretary of State to rescind the suspension, cancellation, or prohibition of the renewal of a person’s driver’s license due to their having failed to pay a fine or penalty for traffic violations, automated traffic law enforcement system violations, or abandoned vehicle fees. Removes the ability of counties and municipalities to have rendered as a judgement in Circuit Court an unpaid fine or penalty associated with a person’s violation of five or more automated traffic law violations or automated speed system violations. Removes language allowing for a person’s driving privileges to be suspended for failing to complete a required traffic education program or pay a fine or penalty as a result of a combination of 5 violations of the automated traffic law enforcement system or the speed enforcement system. Removes the requirement for counties and municipalities to make a certified report to the Secretary of State whenever a vehicle owner failed to pay any fine or penalty due as a result of a combination of 5 automated traffic law or speed enforcement system violations. Removes language allowing for a person’s driving privileges to be suspended for not paying or successfully contesting the civil penalty resulting from 5 violations of the automated railroad grade crossing enforcement system.
 Misdemeanors that qualify for automatic termination are: criminal sexual abuse; indecent solicitation of a child; indecent solicitation of an adult; solicitation to meet a child; sexual exploitation of a child; prostitution; solicitation of a sexual act; public indecency; aggravated assault; domestic battery; interfering with the reporting of domestic violence; theft; deceptive practices; false personation; transmission of obscene messages; harassment by telephone; harassment through electronic communications; keeping a gambling place; offering a bribe; offenses affecting governmental functions such as resisting or obstructing a peace officer, escape/aiding escape, perjury, interfering with judicial process, harassment or jurors or witnesses, tampering with public records, official misconduct, bribery, etc.; harassment of representatives for a child, jurors, witnesses and others; simulating legal process; possession of another's credit, debit, or identification card; manufacture or delivery of cannabis; and delivery of cannabis on school grounds.
 The list of misdemeanors that qualify for automatic decertification is expanded to include: indecent solicitation of an adult; solicitation to meet a child; solicitation of a sexual act; public indecency; domestic battery; interfering with the reporting of domestic violence; transmission of obscene messages; harassment by telephone; and harassment through electronic communications. Misdemeanors that already qualified for automatic decertification include: criminal sexual abuse; indecent solicitation of a child; sexual exploitation of a child; prostitution; aggravated assault; theft; deceptive practices; false personation; keeping a gambling place; offering a bribe; offenses affecting governmental functions possession of another's credit, debit, or identification card; manufacture or delivery of cannabis; and delivery of cannabis on school grounds.
 The violations specified in this section include the following offenses: aggravated discharge of a firearm; aggravated discharge of a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or use for silencing the report of a firearm; reckless discharge of a firearm; armed habitual criminal; manufacture, sale or transfer of bullets or shells represented to be armor piercing bullets, dragon's breath shotgun shells, bolo shells or flechette shells; unlawful sale or delivery of firearms; unlawful sale or delivery of firearms on the premises of any school; unlawful sale of firearms by liquor license; unlawful purchase of a firearm; gunrunning; firearms trafficking; involuntary servitude; involuntary sexual servitude of a minor; trafficking in persons; unlawful use or possession of weapons by felons or persons in the custody of the Department of Corrections facilities; aggravated unlawful use of a weapon; and aggravated possession of a stolen firearm.
 An offense in which a sentence of imprisonment, without probation, periodic imprisonment or conditional discharge, is required by law upon conviction.