Bail reform could ease overcrowding

ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- A new law signed into the books Friday will change the rules of how people can pay their dues to get out of jail. It's to help those charged with minor crimes get out of jail sooner.

The Bail Reform Act creates new rights for those in custody because a lot of people are spending months behind bars for minor crimes because they cannot afford bail.

Under the new law, those who can't come up with enough money will get a rehearing of their bail amount. It was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner.

Lawmakers say there were too many complaints from people in the criminal justice system who say it was unfair to poor people.

Under the law, cash bail will not be required for those charged with non-violent misdemeanors like theft, DUI or prostitution. Instead, they'll have other options like home monitoring, curfews or drug counseling.

Another part of the law helps prevent overcrowding in prison. If someone cannot afford bail, a judge must reschedule a hearing within seven days.

 

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