August 01, 2018 Feature

The Pathways of Pretrial Reform

By Brook Hopkins and Colin Doyle

Money bail is a hallmark of pretrial criminal justice systems across the United States. Originally established as a method for releasing people accused of crimes and ensuring their return to court, money bail has become a method of sub rosa pretrial detention and a predatory financial system for indigent people who have been accused of crimes. Money bail imposes high costs on people who are detained, their families, their communities, and the larger public. On any given day, the United States incarcerates nearly half a million people who are awaiting trial and presumed innocent, many of whom are in jail only because they cannot afford to post bail.1

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