California Bail Reform – SB10

SB 10

The California Bail Reform Act 2017

This act will ensure that people are not held in dangerous, overcrowded jails after an arrest simply because they cannot afford to post bail. The effect of the Act will be to ensure that people return to court as required and that the public is protected, while ending the current bail system’s cruel discrimination against low-income Californians and people of color.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, about 63% of people in jail in California on any given day (or 46,000 people) are either awaiting trial or sentencing – at a high financial and social cost to taxpayers.

California’s current bail system is punishing whole families and communities. Most Californians cannot afford to post bail and so must either stay in jail or pay substantial nonrefundable fees to a bail bond company. These fees are not refunded under any circumstances – even if the court finds that a person is innocent or was wrongfully arrested. Over-policing of communities of color results in more arrests, exacting a disproportionate price from these communities. Whole families suffer, as they take on long-term debt to purchase the safety and freedom of a loved one, and women are hit the hardest. According to an Ella Baker Center survey, 83% of family members who take on court-related costs on behalf of loved ones are women.

Successful models for reform can be found in California and other states. Like with these systems, under the California Money Bail Reform Act, judges will have access to more information than they do now about people coming before them so they can determine, based on the circumstances of the individual case rather than a person’s wealth, who can return home and under what conditions while their case is being resolved. More informed decision-making protects public safety while reducing the number of people kept in jail after arrest, at a cost to the liberty of low-income Californians and to taxpayers.

It is time for California to implement these proven and cost-effective systems across the state.

Contact: Justin Rausa   justin.rausa@asm.ca.gov     (510) 286-1670     (916) 319-2118
UPDATE: August 25, 2017

Amazing news today: the Governor and the Chief Justice have just publicly announced their support for bail reform!

They said: “Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Senator Bob Hertzberg and Assemblymember Rob Bonta today committed to working together on reforms to California’s bail system that prioritize public safety and cost-efficiency.” Here’s the gov’s Press Release

Victory is within reach! They are all committed to working together through the fall to get this done as soon as possible. (That means SB 10 will not be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Cmte on August 30th.)

The pressure you’re putting on Sacramento is working!! Now we need to DOUBLE DOWN!

Please call your Assemblymember’s district office and let them know that you’re excited about the newly announced support from the Governor and the Chief Justice – and that you want the Assemblymember to announce their support, too. [Find your member’s number here.]

Fact Sheet
Hollywood NOW Support Letter pdf.

 

CA Bill link: AB -42 Bail: Pretrial Release

 

CA Bill link: SB-10

 

 

 

You can also change your Twitter profile pic to support Bail Reform, by clicking here!

UPDATE: August 25, 2017

The Hollywood Chapter for the National Organization for Women (Hollywood NOW) is withdrawing our support from SB 10. Unfortunately, the final version of SB 10 has become nearly unrecognizable from its original form, creating a presumption of detention and expanding the use of risk assessment tools that may be vulnerable to bias.

Hollywood NOW Withdrawl Letter pdf.