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PRJI: Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities

02 Feb 2016

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the Letter from Birmingham Jail in April of 1963 he was detained on money bail. We are lucky that Dr. King used the nine days he was jailed to pen one of his most famous essays, and that his supporters were able to continue his civil rights work in the community throughout his detention. Most defendants who languish in jail before trial sit idle, waiting for…

Community Bail Funds Reclaim Bail Decision Power

19 Jan 2016

PJI recently hosted a webcast on Community Bail Funds for people involved with, interested in, or thinking of starting them. Speakers included PJI Executive Director Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Bronx Freedom Fund Project Director Ezra Ritchin, and Brooklyn Community Bail Fund Executive Director Peter Goldberg.

A recording of the event can be found here.

The negative effects of jail on accused peo…

Games of Chance: Powerball and Cash Bail

06 Jan 2016

When courts set high cash bail on defendants they consider to be dangerous or unlikely to show up in court, they are engaging in a game of chance much as you or I do when buying a lottery ticket. Just as we are betting the numbers we choose will bring us sudden wealth, the court is betting that the amount they set will be high enough to assure the defendant’s return to court or, unconstitutional…