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Many people accused of committing crimes remain in pretrial custody only because they cannot afford a nominal bail. People with strong ties to the community who are released on their own recognizance (without any money bail) are very likely to appear for court proceedings.
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The American system of bail is fundamentally incapable of doing the job we expect of it. It allows those with money to purchase their freedom while awaiting trial, regardless of their actual danger to the community. At the same time it punishes with incarceration low risk defendants who simply cannot afford to purchase their freedom pending trial at an enormous taxpayer expense.

Pretrial risk assessment and community-based supervision have been proven to be effective tools to determine who to release pending trial and how to help keep the community and victims safe. Visit our solution page to learn about risk assessment and other ways to improve pretrial justice in your community.