Critics say courts in the state are punishing “the poor for being poor.” Legislators say their bills will reduce the number of people detained before trial and address the racial and economic disparities in the bail process. The bail industry will resist the proposal.
Defense attorney criticizes judges for keeping his client in jail because Police Chief Sam Dotson blogged about a low bail amount of $2,500 set in a gun case. Defendant Armond Calvin couldn’t afford to pay it.
Cleveland.com finds cases of people who must stay in jail because they can’t pay small bail amounts for non-serious offenses. One defendant was accused of failing to appear in court to explain why he could not make payments to the court.
Chicago’s jail is the latest and biggest target of a campaign against the cash bail system. Alec Karakatanis of Civil Rights Corps charges that thousands of people are in jail awaiting trial “not because they are dangerous but because they are poor.”
Attorney General Brian Frosh calls into question the longstanding practice of courts’ setting high bail to keep some suspects in jail. He says that judges may not “impose a financial condition solely to detain the defendant.”
Risk assessment algorithm will identify if suspect is at risk of committing a new crime or failing to return if released. Advocates hope the plan will allow more low-risk defendants to be diverted from the criminal justice system earlier.