California lawmakers have unveiled a sweeping plan to overhaul pretrial release in the state that could virtually eliminate the use of money bail.
It’s about time.
Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, introduced legislation last December to change a system that clearly punishes the poor by keeping them stuck in custody if they cannot afford expensive bail rates.
Their proposal envisions instead a system of risk assessment to determine who is released and county services to ensure that offenders appear in court.
“It’s fundamentally broken,” Bonta said of California’s current bail law, which allows each county to set its own bail schedule by crime. Offenders can secure their release by paying the entire amount, to be returned at the conclusion of their case, or applying for a surety bond through companies that charge a 10 percent fee.
The whole scheme is designed to make money for the bail bond industry…lots of money. This money comes from poor people, clearly the targets of the government sponsored racketeering operation.
Senate Bill 10 and Assembly Bill 42 would jointly create a statewide risk assessment tool, as a handful of counties have already done, to determine during the intake process whether defendants pose a flight risk or danger to their communities. If not, low-level offenders would be released.
The feckless bail industry is in panic mode.
Read the whole story in the Sacramento Bee