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Indybay Feature
Wed Apr 19 2017 (Updated 04/20/17)
The End of Money Bail in California?
California Senate Committee Votes to Eliminate State's Money Bail System
Every year, California warehouses thousands of people in jails while they await their court dates — simply because they can’t afford to post bail. Meanwhile, wealthy people can easily buy their freedom. Research shows that Black people are assigned higher bail amounts than white people accused of similar offenses. People who can’t post bail are at a higher risk of being convicted, pleading guilty (even if they’re innocent), and receiving harsher sentences. And because Black and Latino people are more likely than white people to be locked up while their cases move forward, money bail fuels pre-existing racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

California lawmakers are currently considering reforms that will help create a justice system that works for everyone, not just those who can afford it. The California Money Bail Reform Act of 2017 (SB 10 & AB 42), introduced by Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), will create a system that prioritizes pretrial services to help people make their court appearances, and will prevent people from being locked up in jail simply because they are unable to post money bail. SB 10 was passed 5-1 by the Senate Public Safety Committee.

photo Freedom Shouldn't Depend on Your Bank Account Balance | California bill to eliminate bail system clears first hurdle

Related Feature: California Bill to Open Up Police Misconduct Records Dies in Appropriations Committee
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