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Local law enforcement, residents react to Criminal Justice Reform signing

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Criminal justice reform

MT. VERNON (WSIL) -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 3653 Monday, the controversial criminal justice reform bill.

Some local law enforcers have been fighting this bill from the beginning.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard told News 3 he was not surprised by the governor signing the bill, but he is still holding out hope that there are some aspects of the bill that can be changed.

While law enforcement say they are not opposed to reform itself, it is the language the law is presented in as well as the hoops officers must now jump through in order to properly do their jobs.

Now, Sheriff Bullard is worried these new rules will make officers' jobs harder, as well as less effective.

"It's going to cause extra hoops, more bureaucracy. For officers, it's going to make us less effective at serving our communities. The public's going to be more frustrated by the lack of us being able to take more definitive action," said Bullard.

One Goreville resident approves of the bill and says, "ending cash bail is another important part of this bill and is a huge step in the right direction.
It has always been clear that we have separate criminal justice systems in this country for the poor and for the rich. A wealthy person charged with a serious crime may get an ankle monitor and told not to leave the country while a poor person charged with a misdemeanor may sit in a jail cell."

The bill was signed into law, but opponents like Bullard are hoping to created a trailer bill to make modifications to the law.

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Madeline Parker

Madeline Parker is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Madeline joined the team in 2020 and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies.

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