Fair And Just Prosecution Executive Director Makes Statement on Los Angeles Cash Bail Reforms

PC: Cedric Letsch
Via Unsplash

By Kayla Meraz and Julie McCaffrey 

LOS ANGELES, CA — A landmark new bail system known as Pre-Arraignment Release Protocols (PARP) officially began earlier this month in Los Angeles County, for non-serious, non-violent felonies and misdemeanors.

PARP determines “release status based on an arrestees’ risk to public or victim safety and their likelihood of returning to court while reducing reliance on money bail,” announced Presiding Judge Samantha P. Jessner.

Presiding Judge Jessner added PARP “acknowledges the fundamental inequality of money bail.” Bail has historically impacted low-income people and has illuminated racial disparities in the justice system, noting, “A low-risk arrestee should not be held in jail simply because they cannot post the necessary funds to be released pending arraignment.”

Previously under the traditional bail schedule model, bail is set based on the crime committed, which corresponds with an exact dollar amount. In addition to this, individuals can be released once they post bail, regardless of the risk to public safety and the likelihood of returning to court.

PARP officially took effect October 1, and was received with praise from Fair and Just Prosecution Executive Director Miriam Krinsky.

In a statement released October 20, Krinsky said, “We commend the leaders in Los Angeles who are working towards a more fair and equitable criminal legal system, and we hope all members of our community will put people above politics and work together to craft proven solutions that promote safer and healthier communities.”

She continued, “Reforming cash bail does not jeopardize public safety and has actually been shown to decrease crime. That is not surprising when we consider that even short periods of pretrial detention have been shown to destabilize people and increase their likelihood of future criminal activity.

“We cannot let fear-mongering derail these long overdue reforms. Those opposed to common sense bail reform want you to believe that it will lead to increases in violent crime,” added Krinsky. 

Krinsky argued, “But the system they seek to maintain allows rich people accused of violent crimes to buy their freedom and be back on the streets while poor people accused of nonviolent misdemeanors are forced to languish in the county jails where at least 37 people have died this year.”

Nineteen of those people have died since June 1.  

Fair and Just Prosecution is an organization that works toward promoting a justice system grounded in fairness, equity, compassion and fiscal responsibility.

About The Author

Julie is a third year at UC Davis majoring in Communications and Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She hopes to advocate for women's reproductive rights and make the justice system fairer for sexual assault survivors.

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