New York City’s bail and law reforms are now being emulated at the state level by Illinois. Yep, no bail needed for just about every crime up to, and including, murder. When I first read about this, I thought it was a joke – and then I read further. Yes, in 2023, the entire State of Illinois will go mostly bailless (along with other supposed justice reforms). What does bailless mean on a personal level.? Here are a couple of examples:
- You wake up after a restful sleep and decide, since it is Saturday, to mow the lawn as you have done many Saturdays before. You have a tool shed on your property and that is where the lawnmower is kept. You put your work clothes on, walk to the shed, open the door – and are greeted by a rather shaggy individual living in your shed. Apparently, said shaggy individual moved in while you and your wife were at work during the week and your kids were at school. Alarmed, you call the police figuring that they will arrest this individual for trespassing. Well, in 2023, they won’t arrest they will give him or her a ticket and leave you to figure out how to deal with this unkempt stranger. The police hope you won’t do something rash – remember the operative word is “hope”.
- Your wife goes to your local pharmacy to pick up a prescription. She hears a commotion inside but enters anyway (not a good idea). There inside the store is a deranged individual yelling, screaming, cursing and threatening. The individual is also throwing some things around aimlessly. The police have been called and arrive just after your wife talks to the pharmacist about the chaos. Your wife expects the police to arrest the individual. Well, in 2023, they won’t arrest they will give him or her a ticket and leave everyone in the pharmacy to figure out how to deal with this deranged stranger. The police hope nothing bad happens – remember the operative word is “hope”.
- You get a frantic call from your daughter, a 5th grader at your local public school. There is a stranger wandering around the school grounds and trying to get in one of the doors. The teachers have locked down the classrooms. Since this is a Chicago suburb, there is no school resource officer because those positions have been eliminated. You call the police and are told that they are on their way. You rush to the school fearing the worst. When you arrive, there are police everywhere and a couple of them are talking to an unusual individual. You hope the police will arrest the creep. Well, in 2023, they won’t arrest they will give the individual a ticket and leave. You collect your child from the school and vow never to let her back in that school. The police, of course, hope nothing further happens at the school – remember the operative word is “hope”.
Why is this situation about to happen? Well, you live, work and try to raise a family in a state run by Democrat socialists. In the name of fairness and to appease certain minority groups, they have eliminated cash bail for just about every criminal act. In addition, they will let a lot of people out of prison who have been held because they can’t afford bail or their crimes are now reconsidered as “low level”. They have also “demilitarized” the police and banned “excessive force” particularly chokeholds (if one police officer sees another police officer using “excessive force” he must intervene to stop the “excessive force” which could be perceived as police brutality.) Instead of better weapons for law enforcement, the police will wear body cameras that must be turned on at all times when investigating a potential crime. There are, of course, changes to pretrial detention and sentencing to make the justice system fairer (or easier to negotiate) for those arrested.
From my perspective, this is about saving money not improving community safety. The Illinois Safe-T “purge” law doesn’t create fewer criminals – it creates a situation for more of them. However, from a political standpoint, if criminals aren’t arrested and incarcerated, then they really don’t burden the community with increased prison costs, increased police arrest costs, and increased judicial costs. Of course, the victims don’t really matter in this calculus. They can either suck it up or leave the State —- or take the law into their own hands.
What would you do? I would sit down with my wife and come up with a plan to leave the state within a short period. Yes, my business would suffer and it is likely she would have to give up her employment – and the kids would lose some friends. But trying to live every day in fear, never knowing when something serious might happen, would override other considerations. It is obvious that the entire Illinois law enforcement and justice system has been corrupted by leftwing politicians and waiting for change just makes no sense. -Quite specifically, that individual still in my shed is just too close and unpredictable for comfort.