In a move long sought by civil rights activists, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Wednesday ordered a comprehensive review of the county’s bail system.In a move long sought by civil rights activists, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Wednesday ordered a comprehensive review of the county’s bail system.
“Getting out on bail correlates much more to a person’s ability to pay, than to any likelihood of appearing in court or relative risk to the safety of the public,” Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis said in their motion. “Many people remain in jail awaiting trial simply because they cannot afford bail, often losing their jobs.”
Bail reform is hardly a new idea, Emling said, pointing to testimony by then U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1964 before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“They are not yet proven guilty. They may be no more likely to flee than you or I,” Kennedy said. “But nonetheless, most of them must stay in jail because, to be blunt, they cannot afford to pay for their freedom."
Other states provide examples of ways in which bail systems can be reformed, according to Kuehl and Solis. Kentucky, Oregon, Wisconsin and Illinois have all banned for-profit bail bonds businesses.
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