New Bail Policy in Los Angeles Superior Working, Despite Fearmongering by Opponents, Charges Justice Group

Gavel with open book and scales on table

Gavel with open book and scales on table

By The Vanguard Staff

LOS ANGELES, CA –Vera Institute of Justice’s California affiliate this week said Los Angeles Superior Court’s implementation of a new bail policy this month is working, despite “fearmongering” opponents.

Michelle Parris, director of Vera California, said Pre-Arraignment Release Protocols (PARP) is an “essential first step toward safety, justice, and the end of a two-tiered criminal legal system where the rich can buy their freedom while the poor languish in jail.”

Parris added, “We have long known that money bail does not keep us safe. It undermines fairness and justice, disproportionately harms Black, Latino, and poor people, and exacerbates cycles of poverty. 

“On any given day, there are more than 6,000 people in our jails—not because they are a danger to the community, but largely because of an inability to pay bail. We can see across this county that this system has not worked for the people of Los Angeles and that our communities deserve a better approach to public safety.”

Parris chastised opponents of the system, charging they have been “working hard to fearmonger and misinform the public. They want us to be afraid—to believe that even modest bail reform will usher in a drastic increase in violent crime, smash-and-grabs, and the deterioration of our county. They are wrong, and their scare tactics should have no role in driving policy.”

The Vera California office argued, “The PARP policy builds on years of similar bail policies and extensive research that demonstrates bail reform is good for public safety. The Los Angeles Police Department’s own data showed both violent crime and property crime in Los Angeles dropped or remained effectively unchanged when a similar policy was in place. 

She noted that Harris County, Texas, has shown these policies work.

In Texas, she said when “courts issued a standing order in 2019 for most people charged with misdemeanors to be released without money bond, an independent federal monitor found no following increase in rearrest rates.”

And in Kentucky, where the State Supreme Court issued statewide orders similar to the PARP policy, data from tens of thousands of cases showed no compromise of public safety, said Parris.

“For the safety of our county and justice in our criminal legal system, Los Angeles must heed years of evidence and move forward in implementing this new bail policy. The success of PARP hinges on the close monitoring of implementation. We must guard the presumption of innocence and prioritize the safe release of our neighbors back to our communities instead of reverting to the previous money bail system that failed us for so long,” Parris said.

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