Tree of Life to hold Oct. 22 forum on bail reform and the SAFE-T Act

On Saturday, Oct. 22, Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry will host an online forum to discuss the truth about the Pretrial Fairness provisions of the SAFE-T Act at 5 p.m. on Zoom.

"Much misinformation and fear mongering has been spread," according to Tree of Life Social Justice Chair Patrick Murfin. "We want to let our community this important criminal justice reform."

Tree of Life is partnering with the UU Prison Ministry of Illinois and their allies at Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice (INPJ) who argue that pre-trial detention for the inability to post a cash bail is a de facto punishment for being poor.

They will also show that judges will still have the power to prevent release people who pose a danger to others.

Sarah Staudt, director of policy for the Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts, a partner organization of the INPJ, will make the presentation and answer questions.

Staudt is primarily focuses on pretrial issues and was instrumental in advocating for the groundbreaking Pretrial Fairness Act, which passed in 2021. She leads program work focused on electronic detention, abolishing overly punitive sentencing systems, and promoting court system efficiency, fairness, and accountability.

Staudt graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 2013. Before coming to work with Chicago Appleseed, was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and criminal defense attorney with the Lawndale Christian Legal Center where she represented juveniles and young adults.

The public is welcome to join the program free of charge on Zoom.

For information, visit the Facebook event at, visit, or call Patrick Murfin at (815) 814-5645.

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