It is disingenuous to argue that jail-based substance addiction treatment will be imperiled and lives will be put at risk if the irreparable cash-bail system in place in Illinois is replaced by an alternative that does not use cash. It is even worse when you find out that the in-jail treatment program fails to follow medical science.
Criminal Justice Reform
The criminal justice system is the wrong system to address substance addiction. Prosecutors are well within their authority to decline prosecuting certain drug-related charges. Just because a law is on the books does not mean it deserves to have resources directed to its enforcement. After all, adultery and fornication are still illegal in Illinois. You don’t see many people arrested and prosecuted for these crimes.
The tactics of Sen. DeWitte – decrying the loss of revenue as a reason to perpetuate a racist and economically biased system – falls clearly outside the realm of reasonable disagreement. These tactics are racist.
One of the problems addressed in the recently passed criminal justice reform legislation is the denial of a person’s right to make phone calls to family and to attorneys when in police custody. The current law was passed in 1963 and calls for reasonable calls within a reasonable amount of time being allowed. In practice this does not pan out – at least not for poor people, Black people, and other people of color. The data on this is damning. This video helps explain why we needed to reform this law and what the new law does.
Will the recently passed reform legislation in Illinois really cause bloodshed as some law enforcement officials claim? This video explains why this reform is necessary and why now is the right time for it.
The challenges to fixing the broken criminal justice system and implementing greater accountability for the police will be a daunting undertaking even if Sheriff Hain and State’s Attorney Mosser re-discover their progressive commitments. The COVID-19 pandemic is resurgent, the wide-spread availability and efficacy of a vaccine remains uncertain, and the commitment of the county board and municipal leaders to rehabilitation and reintegration remains unproven. All of these variables will present additional challenges for all divisions of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office in the months to come.