Illinois counties prepare for bail reform to take effect

SYCAMORE, Ill. – Illinois counties are preparing to meet the requirements of a bail reform law taking effect next year.

The Daily Chronicle reports the new law requires a lawyer to be present at the initial court appearanc for anyone arrested. The mandate will take effect Jan. 1.

The law aims to release defendants without requiring they post cash bail if they don’t pose a reasonable threat to the community and are unlikely to flee.

DeKalb County has some elements of the reform already in place. But officials will need to find a way to get a public defender at bond call on Saturdays and over holiday weekends, adding more than 60 extra work days.

DeKalb County Public Defender Tom McCulloch says the law will have a more profound effect on neighboring counties.

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Information from: The Daily Chronicle, http://www.daily-chronicle.com