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Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs sweeping Illinois criminal justice overhaul

Chicago Tribune

Monday, February 22, 2021  |  Article  |  Dan Petrella

Pritzker, J.B.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law on Monday a sweeping criminal justice overhaul package that has been praised by reform advocates and panned by law enforcement groups.


The legislation will abolish cash bail in Illinois beginning in 2023, require police officers statewide to wear body cameras by 2025, eliminate requirements for signing sworn affidavits when filing complaints against officers, and create a more robust statewide system for tracking police misconduct and decertifying officers who commit wrongdoing.


The measure, passed in the waning hours of the previous General Assembly’s lame-duck session in January, was advanced by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus as part of its response to the public outcry over the death last year of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.


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The package has the backing of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, advocates for domestic violence victims, and even some prosecutors, including Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.


But police unions and leadership organizations, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, have broadly criticized the changes.


Pritzker signed the bill during a noon ceremony at Chicago State University on the South Side.