Illinois has reached the finish line in the race to completely eliminate cash bail. This will end the inequality of poor defendants being trapped behind bars while defendants with means walk free while facing the same charges. As this article states, “the longer a person is held in jail, the more likely they are to lose their job or home or connection to family and community.” We will be keeping an eye on our neighbors to the south and look forward to seeing how their new process works. We hope Wisconsin legislators will join us. See More
Federal defendants will no longer face harsher charges and sentences simply because their case involves crack cocaine instead of powder cocaine. This change is long overdue and we look forward to changes in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to end this disparity once and for all. Read more here.
Wisconsin’s “fetal protection” law, Act 292, has led to the investigation of around 400 pregnant people for alleged “unborn child abuse”. Exposing people to criminal penalties for seeking healthcare is another step backward for a state which is already struggling under the weight of mass incarceration and a backlog of defendants awaiting public defenders. Learn more here.
A reduction in white collar prosecutions over the past two decades has resulted in a perception that the feds are letting people skate on federal crimes. Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Prisons state otherwise. The federal prison population increased more than 3%, from 151,283 at the end of 2020 to 156,542 at the end of 2021. Read more here.