Giving Compass’ Take:
• Global Citizen debunks six myths surrounding the cash bail system reform, which perpetuates poverty cycles in the United States and disenfranchises poor communities of color.
• Eliminating the cash bail system does not mean that communities will become less safe. How can this information be circulated to create more awareness and clarity on this issue?
• Learn more about early results from New Jersey’s bail reform.
Approximately 465,000 people in jails across the US have not yet been convicted of a crime, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. And many of them remain in jail for days, weeks, or even years simply because they cannot afford their bail.
Still there are many misconceptions about what reforming the cash bail system would look like. Below, we clear some of those up.
- MYTH 1: There’s no need to reform the cash bail system because bail is set at fair and affordable amounts. Kalief Browder was accused of stealing a backpack in 2010. He was arrested and his bail was set at $3,000, a sum he and his family could not afford. Browder, then 16, spent three years in jail on Rikers Island in New York City without ever being sentenced. He died by suicide in 2015 not long after finally returning home.
- MYTH 2: “Violent offenders” will be free to “roam the streets.” Cash bail has not been proven to keep communities safer; in fact, it may do the opposite.
- MYTH 3: People are more likely to skip their court dates without bail. Washington, DC, largely moved away from the cash bail system nearly three decades ago, and yet the overwhelming majority of defendants have shown up for their appointed court dates, the Washington Post reports.
Read the full article on myths about the cash bail reform by Daniele Selby at Global Citizen.
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