Skip to Content

Pritzker officially signs criminal justice reform bill

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
Pritzker Signs Criminal Justice Bill 2
Illinois Governor signs a controversial criminal justice reform bill on Feb. 22, 2021.
Pritzker Signs Criminal Justice Bill 1
Illinois Governor signs a controversial criminal justice reform bill on Feb. 22, 2021.

(WREX/WSIL) -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has officially signed into law a controversial criminal justice reform bill.

House Bill 3653 passed in mid-January and has been on Pritzker's desk waiting to be signed into law.

The bill has drawn harsh criticism from state's attorneys, law enforcement, and Republican lawmakers.

Some of the major reforms include ending cash bail by 2023, limiting use of force by officers, and mandating body cameras by 2025.

Here's a look at full changes the bill includes:

  • Moves Illinois from a system of pretrial detention that prioritizes wealth, to one that prioritizes public safety.
  • Diverts low-level drug crimes into substance use programs and treatments.
  • Modernizes sentencing laws and streamlines the victims’ compensation system.
  • Requires more investments in officer training, mental health, and officer wellness.
  • Expands training opportunities for officers, requires health and wellness services for officers, and protects officers from unjust lawsuits based on their reasonable actions.
  • Sets statewide standards on use of force, crowd control responses, de-escalation, and arrest techniques.
  • Requires the use of body-worn cameras by police departments statewide.
  • Professionalizes policing through the creation of a more robust certification system and lays out clear standards and processes for decertification.
  • Expands accountability across police departments by requiring the permanent retention of police misconduct records and removes the sworn affidavit requirement when filing police misconduct complaints.
  • Requires police departments to develop plans to protect vulnerable people present during search warrant raids.
  • Eliminates license suspensions for unpaid fines and fees due to red light camera and traffic offenses.
  • Ends prison gerrymandering.
  • Expands services for crime victims.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition has issued a statement about Governor J.B. Pritzker's signing of the law enforcement and criminal justice legislation that passed the Illinois General Assembly during the Lame Duck Session:

“In signing this bill into law, Governor Pritzker chose to listen to a few strident political voices rather than the 120,000 petition signing citizens who plainly saw the bill for what it is. This new law is a blatant move to punish an entire, honorable profession that will end up hurting law-abiding citizens the most. Because we are sworn to protect and serve the public, we sincerely hope that we will not be proven right about this new law, that it won't cause police officers to leave the profession in droves and handcuff those who remain so they can't stop crimes against people and property. Please don't let us measure its dismal failure by the shattered lives it produces. We urge all citizens to remember who supported this law, and keep that in mind the next time they look to the police in Illinois for the protection they can no longer provide.”

Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition

State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford), a vocal opponent to the legislation, issued the following statement following the Governor's actions:

"While supporters of the legislation highlight a couple of positive aspects, it's clear that they didn't bring law enforcement to the table to hear their input on the ramifications buried within the nearly 800 page proposal..? The so-called criminal justice reform measure was passed in the early hours of the morning, without the involvement of law enforcement, without Republican input and with no time for analysis or discussion. The proposal remains widely unfavorable among state's attorneys, sheriffs, and local police departments. While I am open to discussing criminal justice reform, the process by which this sweeping overhaul was passed was unacceptable, reckless, and irresponsible. By signing this bill, the Governor has made Illinois a less safe place to live and made the job of a police officer significantly more difficult."

Sen. Syverson (R) Rockford

We'll have more on the bill being signed tonight on 13 News at 5, 6 and 10.

Author Profile Photo

13 WREX Newsroom

Author Profile Photo

News 3

Skip to content