After last-minute legal decisions, Rock Island County will not implement new bail reform that was set to commence Sunday.

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, several portions of the Pre-Trial Fairness Act were found unconstitutional by the Kankakee County Circuit Court on behalf of 65 state’s attorneys and sheriffs of Illinois.

The Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, known as the SAFE-T Act, is an Illinois statute that reforms the criminal justice system. Its section on pretrial detention, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2023, is known as the Pretrial Fairness Act. Part of the act eliminates cash bail.

On Friday afternoon, Rock Island County State’s Attorney Dora Villareal issued a statement about the lawsuit.

“Although Rock Island County did not participate in this initial lawsuit, we are required to follow decisions that affect the constitutional rights of citizens,” the statement says. “When a State statute is declared unconstitutional, the statute becomes invalid and has no force or effect on any person. The Kankakee Court found the Pre-Trial and No Cash Bail provisions of the Safe-T Act to be a violation of the Illinois Crime Victim’s Rights Act, a violation of separation of powers between the Judiciary and Legislative branches of Illinois, and an improper amendment to our State Constitution.”

“Late yesterday, December 29, 2022, the Rock Island County State’s Attorney and the Rock Island County Sheriff filed an Emergency Petition for Temporary Injunctive Relief to prevent the Pre-Trial provisions from going into effect on Sunday, January 1st. Our Petition was consolidated with Whiteside County and Henry County, and a hearing took place today, December 30th, before the Hon. Judge Steines.

“After arguments were made regarding the unconstitutionality and potential for immediate harm from the Pre-Trial Act, Judge Steines granted our request emergency injunction. As a result, and until the Illinois Supreme Court provides further clarification, we will abide by this ruling and not implement the new bail reform that was set to commence this Sunday,” the statement reads.

“Our Offices remain committed to following the law, protecting the rights of victims and all citizens that come before our Courts. We remain hopeful the Illinois Supreme Court will bring finality to this matter soon,” the statement concludes.