Bail Project Praises Los Angeles for Recent Improvement of Bail System

Via Pxfuel

By Cheyenne Galloway 

LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles initiated its new and improved bail schedule Oct. 1, which supports those in pre-arraignment release protocols for misdemeanors and non-threatening felonies.

Within the new jurisdictions, a judicial officer will set pretrial conditions at the arraignment for the vast majority of those charged with subordinate adjunct crimes, according to Jeremy Cherson of the Bail Project.

Based on comments from the Bail Project, Los Angeles’ previous bail schedules drove mass incarceration because of its two-tiered justice system, forcing poor individuals to remain in jail on bail pretrial while rich people bought their freedom.

For those individuals jailed during pretrial due to exorbitant bail bonds, they are separated from their everyday lives, including their families, communities, jobs, friends, and routines and forced into unsanitary, traumatic, life-altering conditions present in the county jails, said the Bail Project.

“This is precisely why the courts found the previous paradigm unconstitutional and required the county to modify its procedures. The introduction of the new pre-arraignment release protocols today is a laudable step towards reducing reliance on cash bail and mitigating harm in one of the world’s largest jail systems,” noted the Bail Project’s comment.

Los Angeles strengthened its due process for residents, added the Bail Project, through various methods, including the removal of  bail-setting authority from uninformed law enforcement officers and limiting the application of bail at arrest.

“By ensuring that people who are merely accused of a crime and legally presumed innocent are not unnecessarily incarcerated with unaffordable bail, Los Angeles has better equipped its residents to defend themselves in court and meaningfully participate in their families, jobs, and communities,” added the Bail Project.

Although these new protocols by Los Angeles are a step in a positive direction, they still do not constitute complete change, said the Bail Project, arguing, “Judges will still maintain discretion to utilize cash bail at arraignment, though we hope that the application of financial conditions at that stage will be limited. Cash bail belongs nowhere in our pretrial system, which is something we have long known.”

The Bail Project said it  has provided voluntary support services and free bail assistance to roughly 30,000 individuals around the country who have returned to court, proving the inefficiencies of cash bail.

“For now, though, we are heartened by the significant strengthening of due process in Los Angeles County through the virtual elimination of pre-arraignment cash bail, ultimately leading to more stable and thriving communities. We urge jurisdictions to take note,” concluded the Bail Project’s.

About The Author

Cheyenne Galloway recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a double major in Political Science and Italian Studies. Graduating at the top of her class and achieving the distinction Laurea cum laude in her Italian Studies major, she showcases her enthusiasm for knowledge, finding ways to think critically and creatively. She is particularly interested in writing and reporting on social justice and human rights, but as a writing/reporting generalist, she enjoys researching and communicating various topics through written expression.

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