Top Five Articles On Bail Reform Last Week
There is widespread agreement that the bail system is broken. Millions of people annually sit in local jails without conviction because they cannot afford bail, and 75% of pretrial detainees have been charged only with drug or property crimes. The effect is that bail needlessly causes people to lose their jobs, not be able to care for their children, and to lose contact with their loved ones.
Here are the best five articles on the national move toward bail reform last week.
- Tracy Garth was taken to jail for traffic violations. She couldn’t get a friend to bail her out because she was denied access to a phone for two weeks and was not allowed to take her purse. Garth is suing law enforcement for civil rights violations. [The Tennessean / Elaina Sauber]. See Also:Miriam Aroni Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor, and Winnebago County, WI, District Attorney Christian Gossett write in USA Today that money bail unfairly criminalizes poverty.
- After pressure from local groups, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez returned campaign donations from the bail bonds industry. [NY Daily News / Erin Durkin]. See Also: The leader of Empire Bail Bonds, who posts racially insensitive material on social media, had contributed $7,500 to D.A. Gonzalez’s campaign. [In Justice Today / Carimah Townes]
- An editorial advised New Jersey residents to ignore reality TV star Duane “Dog” Chapman in policy debates after New Jersey eschewed cash bail reform. It read: “By and large, the bail initiative is working.” [South Jersey Times / Editorial Board]. See Also: Peter Krouse wrote for the Plain Dealer in June about how Connecticut and Illinois embraced bail reform while a California bill stalled by one vote in the State Assembly, after intense lobbying from Chapman.
- The National Conference of State Legislatures met in Boston to discuss bail reform, with lawmakers stating it “ultimately pay off by reducing incarceration and recidivism rates.” In Massachusetts, two legislators recently introduced a bill to cut down on cash bail and develop a risk-assessment tool. [Boston Globe / Katie Lannan]. See also: Shira Schoenberg explains the Massachusetts bail reform bill at the Springfield Republican.
- Bay Area residents read praise for Senators Kamala Harris and Rand Paul after they introduced a national bail reform bill. This is because the two senators are “jump-starting the national conversation.” [The Mercury News / Editorial Board]. See Also: Larry Hannan explains the federal bill at In Justice Today.