Despite Crime Wave, Many ‘Progressive’ Reforms Coming In 2023

With violent crime soaring nationwide and liberal prosecutors and policies clearly to blame for much of the surge, it is ludicrous that some of the most beleaguered areas are all in for even more radical policy changes.

Illinois, Michigan, and California are three of the most crime-ridden states in the U.S. Yet the ringing in of the new year meant even more ill-conceived directives that make life easier for criminals and tougher for their victims.

Some people never learn.

Effective Jan. 1, lawbreakers in Illinois have little chance of facing cash bail requirements after they are arrested. That’s due to legislators enacting the SAFE-T Act.

This remarkably short-sighted statute “reformed” the bail system to appease activists who believe that the cash stipulation denies freedom to those of lower income levels. It almost completely removed funding as a factor in pretrial detention.

Supporters say judges still have discretion to keep violent offenders behind bars, but critics argue that far too many criminals will be right back on the streets.

At least for now, much of the state is temporarily prevented from this radical change in the justice system. That’s due to dozens of Illinois counties joining forces in a lawsuit declaring that the state legislature unconstitutionally interfered with the courts.

Thankfully, a judge ruled in favor of the suing counties. The pretrial release section of the legislation is on hold in 65 counties, though Chicago’s Cook County and others are free to delete cash bail.

Michigan is set this spring to enact a new law that will automatically expunge felony records after criminals are released from prison.

Convicted felons may have two of their convictions removed from records 10 years after either ending incarceration or being sentenced. Opponents of the measure believe that potential employers, landlords, and others should know the true backgrounds of those convicted.

In July, California felons will receive a very early Christmas gift. That comes when the new state expungement law takes effect to seal nearly all criminal records four years after the completion of the sentence.

Some offenses will remain on the record, but state Republicans note that domestic violence convictions are among those which will be sealed from the public.

This mad rush to end cash bail and clear criminal records is merely part of the progressive push to soften the nation’s judicial system. Far from promoting the safety of the law-abiding public, these measures further protect offenders and lower punishments for breaking the law.