Winnebago County to host Pre-Trial Fairness Act Panel Discussion

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. – Effective September 18, 2023, Illinois will become the first state in the nation to abolish cash bail. Under a landmark ruling, the state Supreme Court upheld the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, which abolishes cash bail and specifies procedures judges must use to impose pretrial detention. On behalf of the Chairman's Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives and the Public Safety & Judiciary Committee of the Winnebago County Board, there will be a Pre-Trial Fairness Act Panel held on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Hall, 211. N. Main Street, Rockford, Illinois 61101. 

The event will include remarks from Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli and Public Safety & Judiciary Committee Chairman Brad Lindmark, as well as an overview of the PFA from the Honorable Chief Judge John Lowry of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court. The objective is to explain to the public how this legislation will impact our court system, criminal justice initiatives and the community as a whole. 

Panelists include: 

  • J. Hanley, Winnebago County State's Attorney
  • Gary Caruana, Winnebago County Sheriff
  • Nick Zimmerman, Winnebago County Public Defender
  • Tom Lawson, Chief Deputy Circuit Clerk – 17th Judicial Circuit Court

Discussion topics include, but not limited to: Detainable/Non-detainable offenses, Arrest, Officer Response, No Cash Bail, Cost to Taxpayers, Department Readiness and a Q&A Portion.

The event is open to the public and free to attend. For more information, please contact Marlana Dokken, Director of the Chairman's Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.