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End of no cash bail ushered in Winnebago County with no major glitches

QuinCreative via pixaby.com

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Monday ushered in a new set of procedures as the end of cash bail goes into effect.

In Winnebago County the courtroom where the pretrial hearings are being held is packed. There were courtroom observers from Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice, as well as family members and others connected to defendants.

The defendant’s and the prosecutor’s tables included a handful of lawyers on both sides, including State’s Attorney J. Hanley.

Associate Judge Scott R. Paccagini followed the same script when a defendant first appears. He asked if they’ve read and understand their rights.

Some cases are heard rather quickly.

For instance, a defendant was charged with driving with a suspended license.

The prosecutor chose not to file for pretrial detention citing that the charge is non-detainable under the SAFE-T Act.

Regarding domestic cases, the judge took further consideration of each incident and the defendant’s history.

In one case that appeared to be a physical fight between two brothers, the judge denied the prosecutor’s petition for detention.

In another, the judge ruled in favor of detention since the defendant was already out on bond for previous charges.

A Chicago native, Maria earned a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield . Maria is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America. RFA is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit journalism organization. Un residente nativo de Chicago, Maria se graduó de University of Illinois Springfield con una licenciatura superior en periodismo de gobierno.