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Bail Reform

Vol. 57 No. 3   August 2018


Court Administration

A Brief History of Bail

Knowing the history of bail in England and America is crucial to navigating a path through our current generation of bail reform. Specifically, the history answers important questions about what triggers bail reform, what elements must be addressed, and how to avoid the need for bail reform in the future. The history is a “fundamental” of bail, and knowledge of bail’s history is of equal importance to knowledge of other fundamentals, such as the law and the pretrial research.

Efficient Injustice: Too Much Pretrial Incarceration Damages the Integrity of Our Courts

Courts & Judiciary

Efficient Injustice: Too Much Pretrial Incarceration Damages the Integrity of Our Courts

Pretrial incarceration forces poor people accused of low-level crimes to choose between extreme financial hardship caused by paying bail, suffering in jail to assert their right to trial, or giving up that right and pleading guilty to get out of custody. This results in unfair treatment of people based on their lack of wealth, and it diminishes the integrity of our court system.

Courts & Judiciary

Do Bail-Setting Judges in America’s State Courts Need Secured Money Bond? : The Experience of the District of Columbia Courts

In most courtrooms in America, pretrial injustice is a continuing reality. The root of the injustice is monetized decision making by bail-setting judges. Judge Morrison shares his experience on the District of Columbia Superior Court, which has established a unique way to set bail to improve the quality of pretrial decision making.

Pretrial Practice & Motions

The Pathways of Pretrial Reform

Money bail was originally intended to ensure that people who were released from jail would return to court, but it has become a predatory financial system. The monetary toll of bail imposes high costs on those who are detained, their families, their communities, and the larger public. Hopkins and Doyle highlight recent pretrial reform efforts and show how they are helping to bring about effective change.

Technology Column

Ethics Column