News Stories

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.

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.

January 10, 2017

By Paul Rogers

The powerful storms that soaked Northern California over the past week did more than trigger power outages, mudslides and flash floods.

They sent roughly 350 billion gallons of water pouring into California’s biggest reservoirs — boosting their storage to levels not seen in years, forcing dam operators to release water to reduce flood risks and all but ending the five-year drought across much of Northern California, even though it remains in the south, experts said Monday.

January 5, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13) – California lawmakers are taking a closer look at the state’s bail system. New legislation aims to change the entire pre-trial process.

“It’s a way to basically punish people and keep people in jail who are poor,” said Senator Bob Hertzberg, District 18.

Right now, bail is set after a person is arrested. The amount depends on a fee schedule that’s different in each county. Then, the accused person either pays upfront or pays 10% of the money to a bond company. State lawmakers believe that chunk of change could be too big for some Californians.

December 5, 2016

By Jazmine Ulloa

California lawmakers next year will make it a top priority to reform the system through which judges award criminal offenders bail, saying courts across the state are punishing “the poor for being poor.”

California State Senate Majority Caucus © 2015 | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Statement | Register to Vote