Bail Reform: Illinois’ Experience After 9 months

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Balancing safety and justice is especially challenging in the pretrial context where difficult decisions must be made quickly while evidence is still being gathered. In September 2023, an overhaul of Illinois’ pretrial system went into effect, eliminating the use of cash bail while also expanding the authority of judges to detain defendants without bail. As states and local jurisdictions across the country weigh pretrial policies, what can we learn from the Illinois experience to date? This panel of experts will review preliminary data and specific cases that shed light on this question. The conversation will also consider to what degree experiences have differed in rural and urban areas and examine what adjustments are needed.


  • Robert Berlin, State’s Attorney, DuPage County, Illinois
  • Hon. Eugene Doherty, Appellate Court Justice, Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District
  • Dr. David Olson, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology & Co-Director, Center for Criminal Justice, Loyola University Chicago
  • (Moderator) Marc Levin, Chief Policy Counsel, Council on Criminal Justice and Senior Advisor, Right on Crime


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.