Tell Your Legislator to Defend The Pretrial Fairness Act Today!

One year ago Illinois passed historic criminal justice legislation that included the Pretrial Fairness Act and became the first state in the nation to abolish the use of money bail!

This is a HUGE victory in the fight to end pretrial detention and the criminalization of poverty. But this extraordinary victory is being threatened before it can even be fully implemented…

Even though the Pretrial Fairness Act won’t go into full effect until January 2023, law enforcement, conservative legislators, and even Mayor Lightfoot are busy working to repeal the act and/or undermine its impact by using racist scare tactics and disinformation to influence public opinion. 

Despite research verifying that releasing people pretrial does not negatively impact public safety, law enforcement has started suggesting the contrary. Some legislators are pushing to pass so-called “tough on crime” bills aimed at fueling mass incarceration in the upcoming legislative session. And now, a Republican state representative has proposed a resolution calling to fully repeal the Pretrial Fairness Act!

Ending money bail is essential to ending the incarceration of Black people in the United States and a pivotal step toward ending the criminalization of poverty of Black people.

We know that when people are incarcerated pretrial, they lose jobs, housing, and even custody of their children. After just a month in jail, people can lose access to vital public benefits like Medicaid. 

People held pretrial are also more likely to plead guilty (even to crimes they did not commit) and receive longer sentences. The rippling impact is devastating.

This is why it’s vital that the Pretrial Fairness Act isn’t repealed or undercut by legislation that simply further fuels mass incarceration. We need your support to ensure this monumental act is protected in order to make our communities safer. 

Let your legislator know that the same powerful and relentless community that pushed them to pass the Pretrial Fairness Act is watching to ensure they do not counteract that progress. 


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