Lawmakers adopt second follow-up to last year’s criminal justice reform

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers this week passed a bill clarifying issues with the massive criminal justice reform bill that passed with support from the Illinois Black Legislative Caucus in the year last.

Out of a 67-42 vote, the House voted Wednesday to accept a Senate amendment to House Bill 3512, clarifying issues relating to pre-trial services, phone calls from detainees and pushing back the effective dates for the police decertification system and the tagging of body camera images.

Representative Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, the bill’s main sponsor in the House, said it was intended to facilitate the implementation of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Fairness Act today or SAFE-T which was adopted in January 2021.

During the debate, Republicans expressed frustration over the language used for inmate phone calls and pre-trial services.

The bill specifies that when a person is detained, the police must allow him to make up to three phone calls within three hours of his detention. If the individual is moved from one detention center to another, the three phone calls and three hours will start again.

But parliamentary minority leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, argued that the bill did not clarify enough between the words “custody” and “detention.”

“Police custody means they are not free to leave. That means they’re sitting in a police car and depending on how you drafted your bill, that means the police have to give that person three phone calls, ”Durkin said.

But the bill clarifies that the definition of “detention” is police stations, places that operate municipal police departments, county police departments and other law enforcement agencies.

Slaughter also clarified that the time for phone calls would begin at the place of detention.

It also notes that a record of telephone calls made must be kept while an individual is in police custody. If no call is made, the detainee must make a statement to the police explaining why the detained person did not make any calls.

Representative Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, said the three phone calls, which repeat three hours after a person is transferred, create “an additional burden on law enforcement,” especially in rural areas.

The three hour requirement for phone calls will not apply when the person is asleep, unconscious or not complying with officers. A document must be noted in the police report which details the non-compliance.

Slaughter also noted that the bill puts forward agreed language in which it will promote hiring and training for pre-trial services in counties where they do not yet exist.

“This allows 53 circuits in Illinois that currently do not have pre-trial services to establish them under the Illinois Pre-Trial Services Act 1987. We are 34 years late,” said Slaughter.

the Pre-trial Services Act provides the legal framework for pre-trial proceedings in Illinois. It provides that “each circuit must establish a remediation service agency”.

Requested by the courts for assistance in implementing the law, HB 3512 would allow the state to begin complying with the requirement.

“When you look at what we’re doing on pre-trial fairness and inmate rights, it means for cities across the state, especially communities of color, that we are serious about the need to respond. to the many disparities that we see in our justice system, ”Slaughter said.

The original SAFE-T law provided for the end of the cash bond in Illinois in favor of a yet-to-be-determined remand system that prioritizes risk over a person’s ability to post a bond. State courts are to create an administrative code outlining the new pre-trial detention system by January 2023. This provision is unchanged in the latest follow-up bill.

The trailer bill passed on Wednesday also pushes back the effective dates for the police decertification system to July 1, 2022. It also clarifies that labeling of body camera footage is not considered a “modification” of the sequences with respect to the language of the original SAFE-T law. .

Due to the pandemic, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board has requested that the date be extended to allow more time for the hiring and construction of the new division.
The bill was passed by the Senate in October and only needs a governor’s signature to become law.

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About Charles D. Goolsby

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