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The SAFE-T Act: An Overview

On January 1st, 2023, the SAFE-T Act will go into effect in the state of Illinois, making it the first state in the United States to abolish cash bail. The SAFE-T Act is an acronym for ‘Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today’. The act is intended to reduce arrests and limit those put away based on the crime. Here is an overview of what the act entails.

What Is Cash Bail?
Cash bail is a system in which a person accused of a crime can pay money to be released from jail while they await their trial. If they do not have the money to pay, they must stay in jail until their trial date. Proponents of cash bail argue that it is a way to ensure that people show up for their court dates. However, critics argue that cash bail disproportionately affects low-income people and leads to innocent people being incarcerated simply because they cannot afford to pay.

What Does the SAFE-T Act Do?
The SAFE-T Act does away with cash bail entirely. Under the act, people who are accused of a crime will be released from jail within 48 hours unless a judge determines that they are a danger to society or are likely to flee.

Critics of the Act Argue That…
The SAFE-T Act has many critics who argue that it will lead to an increase in crime. They point to the film ‘The Purge’, in which citizens are given 24 hours to commit all the crimes they want, as an example of what could happen if there are no consequences for breaking the law. However, proponents of the act argue that this is not an accurate portrayal of what would actually happen if such a law were passed.

The SAFE-T Act is a controversial piece of legislation that has many people talking. What do you think? Are you in favor of or against abolishing cash bail? Let us know in the comments below.


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