Government Watch / Instagram / Politics

After a Year of Record Crime, Illinois Democrats Still Defending Disastrous Criminal Justice “Reforms”

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

crime

In January of 2021, the Democrat-controlled state legislature of Illinois passed one of the most radical pieces of criminal justice “reform” legislation anywhere in the country. The bill, which was straight out of the “Defund the Police” handbook, paved the way for a massive spike in murders, carjackings, and robberies, particularly in Chicago and the surrounding areas. But now, with the end of the legislative session quickly approaching, Illinois Democrats are dragging their feet about doing anything to address rampant crime – and may even be looking to double down on their failed policies.

Following the 2020 death of George Floyd and the riots which followed, progressives in Illinois aggressively pushed for new criminal justice legislation to address what they referred to as “disparities” in policing. The result of that effort was the passage of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act. Democrats and activists celebrated the bill as “big, bold, complex, and transformational.”

Among other things, the bill changed a rule that allowed prosecutors to charge felons with murder if their felony act led to the death of another person; contained a provision that would end all cash bail by 2023; and aggressively constrained who could be held in pretrial detention.

The pretrial detention provision is particularly notable for how radical of a change it represents from the previous system. Under the new requirements, only those charged with a handful of the worst felonies can be detained before their trial, and only when there is a “specific physical threat to someone.” Proponents of the bill celebrated that it had the potential not to actually reduce crime, but rather reduce the number of criminals who are incarcerated, thereby artificially shrinking the state’s prison population.

Republicans criticized the law for being passed “without having any public or Republican involvement in those discussions.” Much of the bill wasn’t made available to the public until it had already been signed, enraging law enforcement advocates and victims of violent crime.

Republicans, community leaders, and police also criticized the bill for several alarming restrictions it now placed on law enforcement. The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association pointed out that, under the new law, police cannot remove unwanted strangers from a person’s outdoor property, prevent bystanders from walking through active crime scenes, forcibly remove suspects screaming obscenities in commercial establishments, or, most unsettlingly, use force against an active shooter once he or she flees the scene.

Following Illinois Governor J.B. Prtizker’s signing of the bill into law, Chicago saw its deadliest year in a quarter of a century. There were more homicides in the Windy City than in any other American city and a statewide rise in murders, carjackings, and thefts.

A few specific cases from the past year capture just how devastating the bill has been to law and order in the state. Last month, a man engaged in a gun battle with another induvial that left an innocent bystander dead. Later that same week, another man initiated a gun battle at a birthday party that left another innocent bystander dead. Typically, both of these individuals would be facing first-degree murder charges. As a result of the SAFE-T Act, however, no murder charges will be filed. Instead, both men will only face charges related to the illegal discharge of a weapon.

The law is also having a tremendously negative effect on law enforcement. This month, a Clark County police department was entirely shuttered, disbanded, and dissolved. A spokesman for the department blamed the closure on “unfunded mandates passed by the state.” He was referring to the slew of new regulations imposed by the SAFE-T Act – none of which were actually funded by the bill. This has become a favorite tactic of Defund the Police activists, who can gut police departments without having to deal with the bad optics of actually reducing police funding by simply imposing onerous regulations on law enforcement that departments have no way of meeting. There has also been a sharp uptick in police officers leaving the state, retiring from the force, or outright quitting, some specifically citing the law as their reason for doing so.

Amid the rampant lawlessness, severe public backlash has caused Democrats in the state legislature to backtrack on some of the most egregious provisions of the legislation, but Republicans and law enforcement groups argue that a so-called “trailer bill” did not go far enough to address their concerns. Even after reforms to the SAFE-T Act, people arrested for crimes like burglary, robbery without a weapon, and aggravated DUI that leads to a death must be released pending trial.

Nonetheless, Illinois Democrats have continued to bar Republicans from even participating in discussion over more legislation to address the issue, leading to fears from some GOP officials that another similarly radical piece of legislation could be on the way. While Democrats continue to insist they will do something to address crime, legislation has yet to materialize.

That leaves Illinois residents in an unenviable position. With Democrats enjoying large majorities in the state legislature and control of nearly every major elected office in the state, the disciples of Defund the Police who penned this legislation may be in power for some time. However, Republicans can still work to chip away at Democrats’ stranglehold on the state by communicating the disastrous consequences of liberal policies. Under the right conditions, voters may finally decide they’ve had enough.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.      


We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!


Subscribe
Notify of
20 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Grammy
2 months ago

I think Lightfoot’s goal here is for all the bad gang members to kill each other off, thus eliminating her problem. She doesn’t seem smart enough to find another way to clean Chicago. Only problem is, innocent people will die in the process. Does she care? No. Just part of the process.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 months ago

Defund all these black Mayurs. Kyle L.

mikem
2 months ago

the democratic boob’s as they are mostly reside in the cities, the people of deep southern illinois still have law and order, of course we are all red down here and if it wasn’t for chicago and the suburbs this state would be red, of course the people in the cities are clueless.

Joe M
2 months ago

There is NOTHING more STUPID, IGNORANT and GODLESS as the democrat party and anyone who follows it !! They are the party of Satan !!!!

Nobody’s Business
2 months ago

The way to stop crime is to beat the crap out of prosecuting attorneys that let criminals go and then go after good people defending their selves and families. If prosecutors were afraid for their own lives things would change immediately. It’s terrible that it has come to this but it is time to beat some common sense back into people.

CLIFFORD F GERACI
2 months ago

The Socialist Liberal Left are too stubborn and stupid not to see the truth. Pray for sanity.

Owen Shrock
2 months ago

I’m not going to comment on this article…What I am going to say is that we’re being set up, and it seems like the entire US Government is in on it. I watched this morning on the news where Comrade Joey, or as I’ve started referring to him, Biffie, has released over 83 million barrels of oil from our national strategic reserve to ease the burden of high gasoline prices. The story went on to say that Biffie has ordered an additional one million barrels of oil to be released each and every month unil gas prices subside.

I also read online last night that the US Navy is planning on scrapping twenty four of it’s ships so they can meet Congressional budget requirements. This includes five Missile Cruisers, all eight of it’s newest Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships, the newest one being only two years old. The Navy said the reason their going to scrap the Littoral Combat Ships is because the transmissions were not syncing up with the engines…REALLY? Then the contractors should be held accountable and required to fix the problem or return the money they’ve taken from the American taxpayers! 

I also read where in the past six months the US Air Force has lost in crashes over a dozen fighter aircraft, this includes four F22 Raptors, three F35’s, and host of F15’s and F16’s most, if not all due to maintenance issues of some sort or another. What gives, is the Air Force not training it’s personal anymore?

I read several months ago where the US Marine Corp had gotten rid of all it’s Tank Battalions’ and two of it’s Infantry Battalion’s, along with several of its Air Wings. All in an effort to make the Marine Corp a leaner and more lethal fighting force…Wow! I’m not a military expert, but I would think that downsizing and completely getting rid of all you’re Tanks would not make you a more lethal fighting force, especially when you should be preparing for an adversary such as China.

So let’s do a recap, Biffie has ordered millions of barrels of oil released from the National Strategic Reserve, instead of pumping more of our own oil. The Navy is scrapping twenty four ships, including eight of it’s newest ones, instead of building more and preparing for a conflict with China. The Air Force has dozens of planes literally falling out of the sky, and the Marine Corp is downsizing and becoming LESS lethal. Either I’m completely paranoid or a huge wack-a-doodle, or there’s something to it all. With the Biffie administration doing everything in its power to destroy our Constitution and our way of life, I would say it’s a safe bet that America is being sold down the drain.

How much longer can we continue down this road before we fall? The American people need to wake up before it’s too late!

God help the USA

PaulE
2 months ago
Reply to  Owen Shrock

Same response I gave you to this same comment on another article:

Good to see someone else actually tracks the reduction in armed forces that is going on in this country, even as the threats from abroad only increase in scope. The reason for the all the reduction in military capability is quite simple and follows the same pattern the European nations went through starting in the late 1960’s and continue through to today. I’ll make this as brief as possible.

To create a giant social welfare state, centered around the tenets of socialism, requires a huge and costly infrastructure of government programs and associated bureaucracies to administer them. Which means either hitting the public with massive, across the board tax hikes or siphoning off the money from other areas of government. That’s generally a no-no as it draws too much attention from the public and raises way too many questions leftists don’t want to have to answer. In Europe, they got around this issue by cannibalizing their militaries. In Europe, like here, most people don’t pay attention to things like military budgets and equipment expenditures. Western European leaders could construct their huge social welfare states and buy the votes of the masses while essentially no one in the public questioned where all this money was coming from. The trade-off of course is the military capabilities of all these European countries declined steadily for decades to the point where most can longer defend their own borders from even a moderate threat. The United States has acted as their de facto military since the 1980’s via NATO.

Today, Democrats are now doing the same plan here by gutting our military readiness in order to fund all the freebies the Democrats are promising to deliver. Thus the rapid decline in mission readiness you read about from all branches of the armed forces. The problem for us of course if that we don’t have another country able and willing to step in and fill the void created by the cannibalization of our own military. Leaving us open on multiple fronts to multiple foreign enemies to say nothing of the domestic threat the socialist Democrats pose to this country. This is as brief as I can make it.

Owen Shrock
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Thank you for your response. I was wanting to make sure and cover all bases should AMAC members only read one article…it’s something that’s important to me, and I can’t believe nobody pays attention or just doesn’t care.

PaulE
2 months ago
Reply to  Owen Shrock

You would be surprised by how few people actually care about a number of issues of real importance to this country. It is the reason why most politicians get away with so much of what they do. To most politicians, the phrase “ignorance is bliss” is one of the most important things to them. Especially when the public are the ones that are ignorant of what the politicians are doing.

edward
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

This is also why local property taxes are going up for public schools. DC has reduced how much they send back to states which in turn reduce the amount of money they send to local school districts(because they both are spending more on socialist programs). When the local school districts come up short(and they like to spend other peoples money too) local property taxes are increased under the guise of, “its for the children”, when in fact it is for the socialist endpoint of total control.
IT IS ASHAME THERE ARE SO MANY USEFUL IDIOTS!!!!!

Bill on the Hill
2 months ago

To think Chicago Mayor Lightfoot has a ( 70 ) man security team protecting her 24/7…DEFUND THE POLICE & Chicago is that shining example of the consequence of never ending Democrat Party rule in the most crooked, violent & reprehensible city in the nation…
I can only assume the good people of Chicago love their environment because they continue to vote these Democrat sleaze balls back into office, year after year…
Bill… :~)

Max
2 months ago

You know that the people who are getting free benefits will never vote in someone who will take that away. End of story.

PaulE
2 months ago
Reply to  Max

I agree with the premise Max. However, these stupid people leave out one very important variable in their equation. All the free stuff in the world doesn’t do you any good, if you can’t live long enough to enjoy it all. The probability that a typical Democrat voter will die in a hail of bullets as they walk out of their home or stroll down the street one day increases exponentially by living in areas run by Democrat. So while they may get some free stuff for their votes, they also face a much higher risk of death die to the policies the Democrat champion.

Max
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Yes, an unfortunate price that people living in Chicago are paying as well as other metropolises around the country.

Curt
2 months ago

Matt Rosenberg, author of What Next, Chicago, wrote a similar article: “Spiraling Violence in Chicago: Causes & Solutions”. One item in this piece caught my eye: “Political change in Chicago is essential. Year after year, two-thirds of the city’s registered voters fail to vote in local elections. The main group that does vote consistently is a group that benefits greatly from the status quo: public employee union members.”
The Democrats keep giving these union members more and better benefits in return for their votes, and those benefits are locked into place practically forever, protected by the Illinois Constitution where reducing said benefits is forbidden..even at the threat of running out of money to pay the ever-increasing benefits.
It’s no wonder people are leaving the state in droves.

Stephen Russell
2 months ago

Must be the Indoc & Education right

PaulE
2 months ago

As long as the majority of voters continue to consistently pull the lever for Democrats in Chicago, over and over and over again election after election, the city will continue its downward path towards eventual anarchy. The people of Chicago have no one to blame but themselves. Sorry to be so harsh and direct, but the majority of voters are directly responsible for the mess they have created in their city. None of the far-left Democrat politicians that enacted anti-law enforcement laws just dropped out of the sky one day and became Mayor, City Council members, etc. The majority of voters put them in their positions to create such societal chaos. The same holds true for other out of control, high crime rate cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere.

Max
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Correct, my reply to Bill Hill above applies.

Philip Hammersley
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

And, of course, in Chicago the DIMMs poll well with the cemetery vote. “Vote early and vote often” was Boss Daley’s mantra.

20
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x