San Francisco Chronicle

California's bail system is inequitable and doesn't make us safer


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.

It may sound sensible, but in practice, California’s approach to bail has exacerbated economic inequality and created a two-tiered system of justice before defendants even face their trial.

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