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VIDEO: Eileen O’Neill Burke on the SAFE-T Act as Criminal Justice Reform Goes Into Effect on Monday

Sep 15, 2023

September 15, 2023

CHICAGO – Days before Illinois’ SAFE-T Act goes into effect, Democratic Candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke released a video with her thoughts on the new law and the critical nature of the upcoming election to ensure its implementation furthers both safety and justice.

TRANSCRIPT — Eileen O’Neill Burke:

“The SAFE-T Act is a seminal piece of legislation. It’s also known as the Pretrial Fairness Act. What it does is it changes the way we detain people pretrial.

“Under the current system that is based on their monetary capability, and I think we can all agree that is not a just system. The SAFE-T Act rectifies that. 

“What the SAFE-T Act does is it says the only criterion to be held prior to trial is, are you a danger to the community, or are you not? 

“The State’s Attorney’s office role in pretrial detention has been expanded exponentially from this legislation. So what that means is, the State’s Attorney has to petition to detain someone pretrial before a court can even consider it. So if that document, that petition, is not filed, the trial court has no authority to detain someone pre-trial. 

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a murder, an armed robbery, a sexual assault, if the state does not file that petition to detain, the judge cannot hold someone.  

“We are the first, and if we do this correctly, if we implement it correctly, then New York follows, California follows, and we have pushed the justice system into a more just and equitable future. 

“We cannot fail in its implementation, and that’s why the role of the state’s attorney and this election is so vitally important.”

Watch Eileen O’Neill Burke’s Video on the SAFE-T Act here

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