Starting January 1, 2023, a person arrested will no longer have to post cash to get out of jail in Illinois. Public Act 101-0652 eliminates the use of cash bond.
Normally, when a person is arrested for a criminal offense, examples are DUI, theft, assault, etc, the individual would have to provide a certain amount of money to be released from jail. This money is called “bond”. Further, a person would typically only have to provide or post 10% of the bond amount. So, if a judge sets a bond at $5,000.00, a person would have to post $500.00 to be released. Once the case is over, 90% of the amount that was posted would be refunded to the person, or used for the court fines.
A person having to post a bond has certain advantages and disadvantages. First, a disadvantage is if a person does not have the required funds, they will have to sit in jail until his or her trial or until a judge sees that they are not posting the bond and the judge reduces the amount. However, by keeping some people in jail, would serve the public interest as he or she may commit additional crimes if they are released with only their promise to return for court.
Another factor is if a person needs bond money, they usually call a family member. Now the family member is aware of the arrest. This might be a positive fact because the family member might make sure the person gets a lawyer, stays out of trouble, and otherwise helps that person change his or her circumstances. It is also possible that involving a family member might lead to more stress and issues for the arrested person.
This type of “no cash bond” has been tried in other jurisdiction. It seems to work, however, it should be limited and should not apply to an individual that is charged with a serious crime and should only apply to one arrest- – meaning, if a person is released without having to post a cash bond, and they get arrested again, a bond or very strict conditions of release should be required.