Pritzker debunks myths of Illinois criminal justice reform bill

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– Governor JB Pritzker signed a historic criminal justice reform bill Monday that would end cash bail statewide by 2023.

The legislation was authored by the Black Caucus and also acts to require police body cameras by 2025 and expand police training and instances in which officers can be stripped of certification.

Police unions and other law enforcement organizations have urged Pritzker to veto the bill, saying it would give crime suspects more advantages than police.

Gov. Pritzker released a tweet about the facts of the bill, debunking some of the myths.

MYTH: The bill endangers communities and emboldens criminals.

FACT: It moves Illinois from a pretrial detention system that prioritizes wealth to one that prioritizes public safety. It also improves access to substance use programs and modernizes sentencing laws.

MYTH: The bill defunds the police.

FACT: It requires more investments into officer training, mental health and officer wellness, and the use of body worn cameras.

MYTH: The bill is overly punitive of police officers.

FACT: It expands training opportunities for officers and protects them from unjust lawsuits. It also sets statewide standards on force, crowd control, de-escalation and arrest techniques so officers have clarity

MYTH: The bill was rushed through without external input.

FACT: It was the result of 9 public hearings, 30 hours of testimony and meetings with law enforcement, community members and advocates. It also focuses on the needs of crime victims, many of whom support the bill.

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