This week, Illinois became the first state to end cash bail as a condition of pretrial release. Civil rights advocates have said the cash bail system discriminates against poor people of color accused of nonviolent offenses, but supporters say it keeps dangerous criminals off the streets.
Going forward, criminal suspects will not have to pay money for release from jail during the pretrial stage. However, a judge could keep them incarcerated if the court determines the suspect is dangerous, likely to flee prosecution or charged with a serious felony.
According to a 2022 federal civil rights report, courts tend to impose higher bail amounts on Black and Latino men than other demographic groups.