The Pretrial Fairness Act was signed into law on February 22, 2021 as part of the omnibus Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act, Public Act 101-0652.

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The Pretrial Fairness Act ended the use of money bond and transformed Illinois’ pretrial decision-making process when it took full effect in September 2023.

We have compiled the below resources to help attorneys navigate these changes to the legal system. If you have questions about the materials or have ideas for other resources we could provide, please email us at 


Know Your Rights: What Happens Now That Illinois Has Ended Money Bond? 

Illinois ended money bond and overhauled the state’s pretrial reform system on September 18, 2023. This guide will help ensure you know your rights now that the law is in effect.

Seven Essential Elements of the Pretrial Fairness Act (One-page Fact Sheet)

This one-page fact sheet summarizes the most consequential changes to Illinois law made by the Pretrial Fairness Act. It was developed by the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice.

Policy Summary of the Pretrial Fairness Act (with citations)

This seven-page summary prepared by the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice provides an accessible explanation of the key policy changes made by the Pretrial Fairness Act. It also includes links to the relevant pages of the Public Act so that interested people can review the exact statutory language and relevant sections of code.

Summary of Electronic Monitoring Changes in the Pretrial Fairness Act (One-page Fact Sheet)

This one-page fact sheet  provides a high-level overview of the changes the Pretrial Fairness Act made to electronic monitoring and home confinement laws in Illinois. It was prepared by the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice. For a more detailed discussion of these issues, please read this blog post or watch this virtual teach-in from November 2021.

Statutory Provisions of the Pretrial Fairness Act 

The Pretrial Fairness Act made modifications to nearly every statutory section of the Illinois code that dealt with pretrial practices. This document lists the current text of the sections where the Pretrial Fairness Act or the trailer bill made substantial changes. The Pretrial Fairness Act and trailer bill also made minor technical changes throughout the Illinois Code, primarily to replace all references to "bail" with references to "pretrial release"; those technical conforming changes are not include in the list below.

Cook County Public Defender Sharone Mitchell Explains the Pretrial Fairness Act


Petition Template for Illinois Attorneys Seeking Review of Cook County Electronic Monitoring Orders,  Home Confinement Conditions, or Movement Permissions

This is a template petition for Cook County criminal defense attorneys seeking one or more of the following changes to pretrial electronic monitoring: (1) remove electronic monitoring as a condition; or (2) modify the existing electronic monitoring or home confinement parameters, including movement permissions. Please be aware that the Cook County stakeholders, including the Cook County Sheriff’s Office as the supervising authority, may change their internal policies and interpretations of this new law.

Please also note: this template document is intentionally styled as a petition addressing only electronic monitoring and NOT as a motion seeking broader modification of conditions of bond. 

Sample Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring Order for Cook County

There is a new court order to Cook County Sheriff’s Office Electronic Monitoring that must be completed any time someone is placed onto EM, EM conditions are modified, or EM is removed. Defense Counsel may submit a proposed order to the court accompanying the above petition for review. The Sheriff’s Office also requires this form be completed when someone is reinstated to EM that was ordered before September 18, 2023.

This is an additional order on top of the Conditions of Pretrial Release Order, which is a new order that combines the old bond and Special Conditions of Bond (SCOB) orders.

Effective September 18, 2023, the Sheriff’s Office will no longer place anyone on default essential movement schedules unless the Order to Sheriff’s EM has the “as administered by the supervising authority” box checked under “movement.” This is true even if Sheriff’s EM ordered before September 18, 2023 is being reinstated. If, however, the client has other obligations for which they are entitled to movement (such as work, school or medical appointments) or other specific movement granted by the Court, attorneys can select the applicable reasons and complete the detailed movement schedule on the second page of the order. Note that clients on EM are entitled to movement for all eight reasons outlined in 730 ILCS 5/5-8A-4(A).

On the final page of the Order to Sheriff’s EM, there is information for the defense attorney to list their contact information. This is how the Sheriff’s Office will notify you when clients are not released within 48 hours or when there is an alleged violation of Sheriff’s EM rules. 

Petition Template for Illinois Attorneys Seeking Review of Electronic Monitoring Orders, Home Confinement Conditions, or Movement Permissions (Outside Cook County)

This template petition incorporates provisions for jurisdictions outside of Cook County that charge people fees for being placed on Electronic Monitoring. 

Memorandum of Law (Electronic Monitoring)

This Memorandum of Law was drafted by attorneys at the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center to provide in-depth analysis of the constitutional and legal considerations that judges should take into account when imposing electronic monitoring, reconsidering orders to electronic monitoring, and granting movement permission for people on electronic monitoring. 

Attorneys are invited to use these arguments for personal education and argument or to modify and attach this memorandum to petitions when they believe the court would find it persuasive.

Attorneys who practice in Cook County or other jurisdictions where fees are not charged for Electronic Monitoring should use this version of the Memorandum of Law, which omits arguments about fees.

Attorneys who practice in jurisdictions where fees are charged for Electronic Monitoring should use this version of the Memorandum of Law, which includes arguments about fees. 

Petition To Remove Monetary Conditions of Pretrial Release

This is a template petition that may be filed by attorneys representing someone in custody who has been unable to pay their previously set money bond. This petition provides the legal basis for the Court to remove the financial condition of your client’s pretrial release (bond) so that they can return home while their case proceeds.

Petition To Review Detention

This template petition may be filed on behalf of individuals that are in custody either because they were previously denied pretrial release or their pretrial release was previously revoked by the Court before September 18, 2023. Under the Pretrial Fairness Act, the state must now meet a higher burden of proof before the Court can find that someone should remain detained pretrial, and this petition provides the legal basis for a new detention  or violations hearing where attorneys can argue for pretrial release.

Petition to Conform EM Order to PFA

This is a template petition for criminal defense attorneys representing individuals who are currently on pretrial electronic monitoring (EM). Attorneys can add their client’s information to this petition and file it to request that the Court, pursuant to the Pretrial Fairness Act, remove the EM condition or modify the existing EM order to allow for greater movement, limit the days that your client is fully restricted, and/or add permitted movement for employment, medical appointments, educational opportunities, religious services, or for essential tasks such as purchasing groceries and other necessities. This template petition provides the legal basis under the Pretrial Fairness Act to make these requests.

Motion to Revoke Pretrial Release (For Sentencing Credit)

This is a template motion for criminal defense attorneys that represent individuals who are charged in multiple cases. If an individual is detained on one case, they may nonetheless be granted pretrial release on newly filed cases and therefore may not receive custody credits on that case. Attorneys can file this motion to request that the court revoke the pretrial release order so that their client can begin accruing sentencing credits on all of their cases. This is especially important since concurrent sentencing is now discretionary under the Pretrial Fairness Act.

Petition to Grant Good Time Credit during Pretrial Violation Imprisonment

This is a template petition for attorneys representing someone that has been found to have violated the terms of their pretrial release and who the Court has decided to sanction with an imprisonment of up-to-30 days in the county jail, pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/110-6(f)(2) of the Pretrial Fairness Act. This petition provides the legal basis for why your client is entitled to day-for-day good time credit during this up-to-30 day imprisonment, ensuring that they face a maximum of 15 actual days in jail.



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