Illinois crime reform law compared to 'The Purge' as state poised to eliminate cash bail

Under the law, a judge will decide whether a suspect qualifies for pretrial release.

Updated: September 13, 2022 - 1:25pm

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Illinois will be the first state to implement no-cash bail starting in January, and residents are comparing the law to a horror movie.

A video of Orland Park, Illinois, Mayor Keith Pekau condemning the state's "SAFE-T Act" with the caption, "As of January 2023 Illinois is basically sounding the Purge siren," has more than 100,000 views on TikTok and Twitter.

As he speaks, the siren can be heard from "The Purge," a dystopian franchise in which all crime is legal for 12 hours once a year.

Pekau said the 746-page act, first passed in January 2021, "abolishes cash bail for almost every offense."

The offenses includes second-degree murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug-induced homicide, threatening a public official and aggravated DUI, the mayor said.

Offenders who are released on electronic monitoring must be in violation for 48 hours before officers can respond, Pekau said, adding that offenders "can almost drive to Alaska before we can even look for them."

Under the law, a judge will decide whether a suspect qualifies for pretrial release.

Some people criticized the law on Twitter. 

"Get out of Illinois," one user wrote. "t is way too dangerous to live or work there."

Another person said: "I'm getting my [concealed carry license] and should be ready for the purge here."

Parts of the act are already implemented.

For example, under the new law, Illinois police departments are prohibited from purchasing firearms of .50-caliber or higher and officers cannot use chokeholds, the State-Journal Register reported.

Mailings about the effects of the "SAFE-T Act" circulated throughout Illinois, and Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the messaging comes from conservative radio host Dan Proft, whom he called "a racist political consultant, who used to associate himself with Illinois, now lives in Florida," according to The Chicago Tribune.