The amended bail reforms passed by New York State in April will still reduce the pretrial jail population by 30 percent, even though it will likely incarcerate hundreds of people who might otherwise have been able to await an appearance before a judge at home, says the Center for Court Innovation.
“Rural jails are frequently located in counties that lack hospital capacity to handle the coronavirus pandemic,” said The Justice Collaborative last week in a study calling for accelerated reductions in rural jail populations to cope with the threat of disease.
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the nationwide drive for eliminating money bail and fixing the inequities of pretrial detention. But it’s also strengthening opposition from the bail industry and tough-on-crime advocates,. such as San Diego’s DA, who objected to some jail releases in his city.
Attorney General William Barr told federal prosecutors to consider not only the risks a defendant might face in detention, but the risk inherent in increasing the jail population as virus cases are rising.
Although Curtis Lovelace was acquitted in the 2006 murder of his wife, he was still saddled with a hefty county administrative fee. Local court systems across the country depend on such fees for badly needed revenue, but are they fair?
Contradicting an earlier review by the Cook County courts, researchers at the University of Utah found 1,212 defendants were charged with new crimes following their release, including 70 new violent crime charges.
Jim Manfre, a former assistant district attorney and sheriff, says “scare” rhetoric claiming the new law will increase crime should be ignored by his ex-colleagues. In an op ed published this week, he said evidence from other jurisdictions made clear that money bail had little to do with ensuring public safety.
The angry debate that has erupted over the state’s landmark decision to eliminate money bail for most offenses isn’t helping the public understand the complexities of making long-term change in the justice system, writes the director of the Center for Court Innovation.