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Personal narratives can help the public understand the benefits of bail reform, but telling these success stories presents its own share of challenges.
In the raucous debate over bail reform, simple facts have fallen out of sight.
Rob Bonta’s career has hinged on the idea that the law can be used to engender social justice. His elevation to California’s “top cop” position, where he will become responsible for the vast bureaucracy of the state’s criminal legal system, will be a crucible for that belief.
Philadelphia’s top prosecutor has made good on promises to reduce incarceration in the city. His re-election bid will be a litmus test for the progressive prosecutor movement he helped start.
The Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, which recorded and published the complaints, paid for the release of some incarcerated women on Saturday.
New York City’s jail population is close to reaching pre-pandemic levels. Advocates say dishonest fearmongering about bail reform—and the politicians who capitulated to it—have created a very real safety crisis.
Although the new law took effect in January, state data showing how courts are applying it won’t be available until July 2021. And without funding, courts in small towns and villages may never collect the data.
Judge Paul Bonin improperly required people who appeared in his courtroom to purchase ankle monitors from a private company run by one of his former law partners, a lawsuit says.
Calls to defund the police must also be accompanied with divesting power and discretion from judges.
The current coronavirus crisis underscores our urgent need to look hard at our pretrial justice system. Eliminating money bail is a necessary first step.
Bail will be set at $0 for most misdemeanors and low-level felony offenses.
Late Wednesday, the chief physician at the Rikers jail complex said on Twitter that judges and prosecutors must not leave New York City's jailed population ‘in harm’s way.’
In Northampton County, advocates say the practice is putting the people charged for minor offenses, and the broader community, in danger.
With one term under her belt as Chicago's top prosecutor, Foxx says she has more work to do to right a system that has been "unfair, and totally unjust."
With few exceptions, news outlets in Harris County, Texas, spotlight singular instances of crime to allege that legal reform policy is a threat to the public.
A federal lawsuit alleges lack of due process in a rural Tennessee county, and reform advocates say its jail is hardly an outlier.
Around one-third of counties in the United States use the tools when making release decisions, but few monitor whether they work as intended.
Jails in New Orleans and Cleveland have had significant population drops, yet conditions of confinement remain poor. Communities harmed by these jails should experiment with new accountability measures to maintain political pressure against jail administrators.
Despite dire-sounding headlines, the state’s cash bail reforms are having a positive impact on the people they are meant to help.
As a society, we can’t continue to subject hundreds of thousands of people to the trauma of incarceration before they face a jury of their peers.
People freed from jail on their own recognizance miss more court appearances because of disproportionate conditions placed on their release, a new study suggests.
A wave of sensationalist press is not just coming from New York City, but also from county sheriff and city police departments frustrated by bail reform that they claim is ‘too broad.’
Adam H. Johnson
Many liberals support reform in theory. But when unpopular decisions need to be made, it’s back to the 1990s “Tough on Crime” playbook.
Melinda Katz, who was inaugurated Monday, is facing criticism over what some say is a broken campaign promise.
Carvana Cloud, until recently the chief of the Special Victims Bureau, is entering the race to unseat her former boss.
Under the proposal, localities would be incentivized to significantly decrease prison populations.
With Civil Rights Corps founder Alec Karakatsanis
The mayors of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco wrap themselves in the language of progressivism, but when it comes to the criminal legal system they’re Trumpian.
Advocates say that despite the election of several progressive prosecutors in the state, there’s a substantial increase in such detentions, which are stymieing gains made through policies to limit cash bail.
The New York Post used a tragedy to target bail reform activists, rather than point to the challenges of a failed mental health system and poverty.
The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund said it doesn’t want to ‘prop up an unjust system.’
A series of victories for advocates reflects a shift in the ‘popular narrative’ around bail.
Advocates warn that overuse of ankle monitors and other forms of electronic monitoring produce consequences of their own.
How high or low bond is isn’t a measure of how severe the state considers a crime.
The 2020 presidential candidates recently unveiled national criminal justice agendas that reimagine public safety and punishment.
A lawsuit is challenging Mohave County’s practice of charging certain people for mandatory GPS monitoring before trial.
In Cook County, Illinois, 99 percent of defendants deemed ‘high risk’ for pretrial violence don’t reoffend.
Establishment candidate Melinda Katz declared a narrow victory in the New York City borough’s district attorney primary, but progressive Tiffany Cabán pushed the race to the left on issues like marijuana and sex work.
An organizer in the effort to close New York City’s Rikers Island jails is challenging Cyrus Vance Jr., whom he calls ‘the city’s leading jailer.’
The backlash is underway against a recent wave of prosecutors who champion criminal justice reform. Here are some methods of attack.
A company in Cleveland County exemplifies how for-profit legal services affect poor and vulnerable individuals.
Krasner’s office acknowledges ‘there’s room to move forward and do more.’
As the Hampton Roads Regional Jail proposes spending $7 million for 113 new guards, advocates renew calls for officials to improve conditions—and an Appeal analysis suggests that the jail could save millions by incarcerating fewer people with mental illness.
The criminalization of poverty in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, has led to a staggering increase in incarcerated people, all at a huge cost for defendants and taxpayers alike.
Despite accounting for less than 12 percent of the state’s adult population, roughly 40 percent of all bail bonds were issued in cases involving a Black defendant.
A number of people spent multiple days at the Atlanta City Detention Center for low-level offenses, including for driving while using a cell phone and for walking in the roadway.
The bail bonds industry was caught overcharging 50,000 families $6 million over 14 years, according to SPLC.
In a case of mistaken identity, Jada Noone was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police, spent 15 days in jail and faced a felony drug case before charges were dismissed. She’s now suing over her false arrest.
With Hannah Sassaman and Matt Henry
As they await statewide action to eliminate cash bail, city councilmembers are looking for ways to reduce the financial burden on families of incarcerated people.
There are more than 2,700 people on electronic monitoring in Cook County, Illinois, alone.
A lawsuit challenging cash bail in St. Louis could help close a notorious jail.
Colorado-based attorney and bail activist Elisabeth Epps was just released after serving a short jail stint related to a 2015 encounter with Aurora Police. The experience gave her a new understanding of the experiences of the people she has bailed out.
‘How are we making sure that we’re not just building and building a system that we know is not necessarily effective?’
Boston’s top prosecutor says big changes are in the works; advocates plan to keep pushing.
In a wide-ranging interview, Boudin, a progressive reform candidate, told The Appeal he wants to redefine ‘public safety’ to encompass the rights of both victims and defendants.
Melissa Gira Grant
Harris County Judge Darrell Jordan discusses his newly elected colleagues’ decision to withdraw an appeal of a landmark bail reform lawsuit.
Prosecutors denounce bail reform efforts when people miss court dates, but ‘failure to appear’ rates obscure the fact that many who miss court aren’t on the run.
Advocates noted that bail gives prosecutors leverage to get guilty pleas from people who can’t afford to buy their way out of jail.
A notoriously unreliable roadside drug test administered by Monroe County sheriff's deputies led to Dasha Fincher being charged with methamphetamine trafficking.
From sheriffs to bail to marijuana, and more—here’s what you need to know.
Republican misdemeanor judges in Houston have clung to an unconstitutional bail system. But their intransigence could cost them their seats.
A Texas jail suicide involving a woman who couldn’t make bail in a shoplifting case highlights of the plight of pretrial detainees with mental illness.
Judges are still setting bail at unaffordable levels, and more people are being held without bond.
District attorneys’ comments belie the true purpose of bail in New York and ignore the safety risks of jail itself.
The passage of Senate Bill 10 would decimate the bail industry, but many advocates say it falls short of true reform.
Josie and Clint talk with the artist about criminal justice reform and his #FREEAMERICA campaign.
Josie Duffy Rice,
The criminal court was funneling millions of dollars a year from poor communities.
An email obtained by The Appeal shows Kim Ogg’s office is intentionally asking for unaffordable bail amounts to hold certain people in jail in Texas.
Taking electronic monitoring to the next level.
And padding city and state coffers with millions of dollars.
With journalist Bryce Covert.
Introducing a new podcast from The Appeal, featuring Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith III.
Pedro Hernandez’s case has inspired calls for reform, but he’s still being targeted for an alleged cell phone theft.
Prosecutors and judges across the country are starting to feel eyes on them.
In overdose-wracked Franklin County, Pennsylvania, a small-time dealer is denied bail, while the number of drug induced homicide cases has skyrocketed.
Across the state, most incumbents successfully fended off progressive challengers during the June 5 primary.
Josie Duffy Rice
Alaska’s new comprehensive criminal justice reform law will reduce the prison population by 13% and save taxpayers $380 million.
A new app seeks to liberate people from more than “liberal malaise.”
Jail isn’t the “appropriate place” for all that get arrested, he says
A local solution to a national problem.
Alex S. Vitale