News Stories

April 22, 2017

BY DENNIS ROMERO

You subscribe to a magazine or join a gym for a special rate and months later realize you're paying a lot more for renewals. And those fees keep hitting your bank account while you try to figure out how to make it stop.

"This is the kind of classic, everyday scam that drives people nuts because we've all had this experience," says Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California.

April 19, 2017

Heard on All Things Considered

By MEGAN KAMERICK

Every day in this country students come to school without a way to pay for lunch. Right now it's up to the school to decide what happens next.

Since new legislation out of New Mexico on so-called lunch shaming made headlines, we've heard a lot about how schools react.

April 11, 2017

SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) — A bill moving through California’s legislature takes aim at a practice often called “food shaming,” when school children are treated differently when their parents or guardians fail to pay meal fees.

April 10, 2017

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

On any given day in California, tens of thousands of people sit in county jail not because of a criminal conviction, but because they can’t afford to leave.

Such is the travesty of justice that is the cash bail system. At $50,000, the state’s median bail amount is out of reach for most defendants, who tend to be poor or working class.

April 5, 2017

There’s a new bill in California that would throw out how the bail system works. Critics of the system say that it punishes poor people for being poor. Some 46,000 people are behind bars in California, awaiting trial or sentencing. Many of those people are stuck in jail because they can’t afford bail. We speak with Democratic State Senator Robert Hertzberg, who introduced the bill.

LISTEN HERE

EDITORIAL

April 3, 2017

California’s justice system has an inequality problem that is so obvious, so glaring, that a wide-ranging coalition of legal advocates — from civil liberties organizations to the California chief justice — have come together to change it.

It’s the bail system.

The idea behind the cash bail system was that a defendant awaiting trial who had given the court a large sum of his or her money would be less likely to skip town.

March 27, 2017

By Marisa Lagos

All California counties would have to offer an alternative to cash bail under details of a bill that two Democratic lawmakers are revealing Monday.

The proposal, first announced by Assemblyman Rob Bonta and Senator Bob Hertzberg in December, is sure to set up a big legislative fight in the Capitol. In interviews with KQED News, both lawmakers said they are aiming to make the criminal justice system more effective and fair by ensuring that jails aren’t packed with people awaiting trial who simply couldn’t afford to post bail.

March 26, 2017

By Jazmine Ulloa

State lawmakers have unveiled an ambitious plan to reform how counties in California set bail for defendants while they wait for their cases to be resolved or go to trial.

New language added Friday to bills by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) and Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) would prevent criminal defendants from having to post money as a condition of release from jail and would shift some power from judges to pretrial services agencies to assess the risks they would pose if allowed out in the community.

February 7, 2017

By LISA W. FODERARO

PATERSON, N.J. — Jamie Contrano squirmed at the defendant’s table inside the Passaic County Court House here. She had been charged with possessing four envelopes of heroin, and, having failed to show up for more than a dozen court appearances over the years, she was a perfect candidate for a high bail — and a lengthy jail stay.

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.

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