Los Angeles Times

California's bail system punishes the poor

It's time for the government to do something about it

January 16, 2017

CAPITOL JOURNAL

By George Skelton

It’s a recurring nightmare: You get busted, perhaps for drunk driving and causing an injury accident, or maybe on a bum rap. You’re jailed and can’t make bail.

You’re shoved behind bars with a scummy cellmate. You can’t go to work. Bills go unpaid. And you don’t have any mobility to plan your defense.

You’re locked up solely because you don’t have enough money to arrange bail.

But some wealthy guy — booked on a more serious charge than you — waltzes out onto the street the next day after writing a check and posting bail.

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