CHICAGO — After years of debate in the legislature and a nine-month delay due to litigation, no cash bail is now in effect. Some politicians are celebrating while others sound the alarm.

Hours after Illinois became the first U.S. state to remove cash bail as a condition of pre-trial release Monday morning, supporters took a victory lap.  

Starting Monday, police must issue citations for suspects accused of low-level misdemeanors. Those individuals will be given a court date and released.

For more serious crimes, where a suspect is arrested and remains in police custody, a decision about pre-trial release will go to the court. 

Conditions for release are set in an initial hearing. Then, the prosecutor can request a defendant remain in jail. 

Witnesses are allowed and the victim will be notified. 

The judge will issue a ruling after listening to arguments from the prosecutor and defense attorney.

Despite this key change, some GOP lawmakers are still worried.

The law defines detention eligible offenses — some of them are domestic battery, stalking, predatory criminal sexual assault, violations of order of protection, most gun charges and murder.

Lawmakers have referred to this list as the “detention net.” 

The law tweaks how police treat some suspects, enumerating offenses that require release. Among them: petty offenses, certain misdemeanors, people charged with burglary where no one is harmed and battery without great bodily harm. But police maintain discretion to take a suspect into custody.

Rather than a defendant arguing they should be released awaiting trial, it’s assumed that they will be. Now it’s up to prosecutors to push for a defendant to remain behind bars.  

Critics argue some of these crimes such as burglary should be detention eligible. 

Last week, Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx would not say if she wants more offenses added to the detention eligibility list. 

For a defendant to remains in jail while awaiting trial, prosecutors like Kim Foxx must ask the court for detention. The judge will issue a ruling and money will not be part of the equation.

At 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 18., anyone suspected of committing a crime will have their case put into the new system. People arrested before then, or who are already being detained, will have to petition the court for a hearing under the new rules.