By Cynthia Hoang-Duong
WASHINGTON, DC – Continuing a lengthy career dedicated to criminal justice reform, Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) announced his support of the Illinois Supreme Court decision that has upheld the constitutionality of abolishing cash bail in Illinois, the first state to ban cash bail.
“I commend the Illinois Supreme Court for their courageous decision to eliminate cash bail,” applauded Rep. Davis, adding, “This ruling marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to reform our criminal justice system and ensure that it truly serves the best interests of our communities.”
In a 5-2 decision Tuesday, the state’s supreme court allowed the enactment of the cash bail ban, a provision of the 2021 SAFE-T Act, starting Sept. 18. In effect, the measure would remove the condition that requires individuals to post bail to be released from jail before their trial proceedings.
In a statement released on the day of the ruling, the office of Rep. Davis declared the state of Illinois is the first state in the U.S. to eliminate cash bail, noting the ruling is a “significant step forward in addressing the systemic inequalities and injustices that have plagued our criminal justice system for far too long.”
Because of the cash bail system’s disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities that reinforce the cycle of poverty and incarceration, Rep. Davis noted the decision “sends a powerful message that we are committed to breaking that cycle and creating a system that treats every person with dignity and fairness.”
With the elimination of cash bail, Illinois—with the support of Rep. Davis—seeks to ensure that the criminal justice system and justice do not rely on the individual’s financial position but rather on the “merits of the case” and the ideals of fairness and equity.
As Congressman Davis said, “By removing the financial barriers that have long hindered equal access to justice, we can now work towards a system that is built on rehabilitation, restoration, and compassion.”
The congressman’s office concluded its statement by affirming his commitment and advocacy for criminal justice reform and commending the individuals and groups involved in the successful ban of cash bail.