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Jennifer Korte, the Republican candidate for Illinois' House District 112, attacked what she calls ineffective, Democratic anti-crime policies during an interview with the Metro East Sun.
“Our communities are more dangerous because of weak politicians and poorly written legislation," Korte said. "By pushing radical legislation like the SAFE-T Act, our government is letting Chicago Democrats take the lead, emboldening criminals and threatening the safety of police officers and our families."
"As police departments struggle to hire and retain officers, these radical policies aim to make their jobs even harder," she said. "I call on [Democratic state Representative] Katie Stuart to encourage her cronies to pull back on the anti-police policies that have made Illinois more dangerous."
Once the SAFE-T Act takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023, the following offenses will be considered "non-detainable" and eligable for release under the law: arson, burglary, aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, aggravated fleeing, drug-induced homicide, intimidation, kidnapping, robbery, threatening a public official and second-degree murder.
According to the Center Square, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker defended the elimination of cash bail during a press conference in August.
"We do not want someone in jail because they were arrested for a low-level crime like shoplifting to be sitting in jail for months or maybe even years," Pritzker said. "At the same time, someone who is a wealthy drug dealer, perhaps accused of murder and arrested, can show up with a suitcase full of money and get out of jail."
Supporters of the SAFE-T Act include the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, which called the act a step toward achieving racial equality in the justice system. In contrast, Republicans have labeled it as a "de facto defund the police bill" due to the additional regulations it places on police officers.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, one SAFE-T Act provision, which took effect in January 2022, allows criminal defendants detained to home confinement to move freely without electric monitoring for two days a week to seek employment, attend school, undergo treatment for drug addiction or mental illness, or shop for groceries.
However, more than a dozen people were arrested in Cook County during their "essential movement" days during the first quarter of 2022.
Democrat Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants the provision to end. “At a bare minimum, they should say, ‘If you’re charged with a violent offense, and you’re given home monitoring, you don’t get to wander around free for two days a week,'" Dart said.
SafeWise's 2022 State of Safety survey reveals that 42% of Illinois residents report feeling "safe," while 64% report feeling "high daily concern" for their safety. Furthermore, 13% report experiencing gun violence firsthand, an increase from 8% in 2021. Mass shooting incidents in the state increased by 25% from 2020 to 2021.
Korte will face off against incumbent Democratic state Rep. Katie Stuart in November's general election. Korte describes herself as someone who believes “our government should be run by the people,” and that “political office should not be a self-serving position.” Her main platform is lowering taxes, leading budget reform and fighting for parental rights.