This month, JPI is dedicating all of its resources to educating the public on bail. Some of us know the issue well, but many of us don’t realize that using money as a pretrial release mechanism contributes to jails overcrowded with unconvicted people, burdens low-income communities and supports an ineffective for-profit industry.
Despite a lack of evidence that financial release options improve pretrial outcomes, jurisdictions throughout the country continue to rely on money as a proxy for risk in the pretrial process. This approach weakens public safety and creates two criminal justice systems: one for those with money and one for those without. The for-profit bail bonding industry, a corporate insurance behemoth that profits off the inequitable bail system, has enjoyed over 100 years of corruption and political influence and continues to skew judicial decision-making and put profit before public safety.
Throughout September, JPI will release three reports on bail -- two national analyses that highlight concerns and solutions around money bail and for-profit bail bonding -- and one highlighting residents in Baltimore, Md. and their personal experiences within the bail system.
Join us this month. Share our bail stamps. Tweet about our reports and others on this issue with the hashtags #BailFail and #BailReform. Pass on our reports and post them on your various social media sites. It’s time to open our eyes to the failures of bail and the promise of pretrial reform.