Criminal justice and police reform bill on Governor’s desk 

Criminal justice and police reform bill on Governor’s desk 

Illinois lawmakers have approved an expansive criminal justice and police reform bill.

The legislation is hundreds of pages long, setting statewide standards for the use of force, making sure suspects in custody get three phone calls, ending cash bail, and phasing in a body camera mandate for police departments.

It’s sponsored by Representative Justin Slaughter of Chicago.

“As black communities across the state grapple with police brutality, mass incarceration, and prevalent crime and violence, this bill represents a robust, transformative, bold, ambitious initiative to comprehensively reform our criminal justice system,” said Slaughter.

Representative Patrick Windhorst of Metropolis voted against the measure, saying it will decrease public safety.

“From the early 90s to 2014 and 2015 we have seen massive decreases in crime throughout our state and country.  A massive overhaul of the criminal justice system I believe will lead to increases in crime and undoing of things that have occurred over that 20 to 25 year period of time that has resulted in a safer society,” said Windhorst.

Opponents also question the cost to police departments and if less people will want to be police officers under the new rules.

Unlike previous versions, the legislation does not remove qualified immunity for police officers but does create a task force to study the issue.

It now goes to the Governor’s desk.