Press Releases

Please direct media inquiries to Fiona Druge at

646.755.6126 or fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com.


 

 

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2016

Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126

 

Leaders and Policy Experts Call for Pretrial Reforms

Washington, DC—Three research studies released this month further confirm the ineffective, discriminatory, and unsafe influence of money bail in U.S. criminal justice systems. Most people in American jails—more than 6 in 10—have not yet been to trial; the vast majority are there because they can’t afford their bail. Emerging research further demonstrates the need to replace our counterproductive use of money bail with safer, fairer, and more effective systems based on risk.

The Heavy Costs of High Bail: Evidence from Judge Randomization, a Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper by Arpit Gupta, Christopher Hansman, and Ethan Frenchman, describes how assigning money bail to people accused of crime in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh increases the likelihood of conviction by 12% and increases recidivism by 4%. The authors found that the use of money bail is not effective – it “does not seem to increase the probability that a defendant appears at trial,” and actually makes us all less safe. (more…)

 

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2016

Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126

 

Foundation giving local justice systems the resources to help reduce their jail populations

Washington, DC —The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today nearly $25 million in additional funding to support reform in a selection of local justice systems across the country as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge.

Cherise Fanno Burdeen, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute, issued the following statement about the announcement:

“Today, the MacArthur Foundation made another significant investment to reduce jail populations and address racial disparities in local justice systems through its groundbreaking Safety and Justice Challenge. The Safety and Justice Challenge recognizes that jails are the gateways to prisons, and that any effort to reduce the national problem of mass incarceration must start with local solutions at the front end of the justice system, such as the support the initiative will provide to help Philadelphia increase pretrial releases and create alternatives to money bail. The Pretrial Justice Institute is proud to serve as the convener of the Safety and Justice Challenge sites and we’re pleased to see the initiative continue to drive momentum for reform of our country’s local justice systems. These efforts are part of an expanding national movement that includes our 3DaysCount campaign, which is helping to set a new national standard of pretrial justice by working at the state level to advance commonsense pretrial solutions like replacing unfair and discriminatory money bail with safer, fairer, and more effective pretrial release decisions based on risk. We welcome others to join in advancing this important work.” (more…)

 

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2016

Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126

 

Department of Justice urges state court judges to reform fines, fees and money bail system that unfairly punishes the poor 

 

Washington, DC— In a letter to state court judges and administrators released yesterday, the Department of Justice called on states to avoid using the court system as a money-making venture and to curb pretrial policies that keep nonviolent offenders trapped in a cycle of debt and unnecessary incarceration. The letter, authored by Vanita Gupta, the Department’s top civil rights prosecutor, and Lisa Foster, Director of the Office for Access to Justice, specifically urges states to consider transitioning away from pretrial justice systems based on money bail alone towards more effective pretrial risk assessment programs.

Following the release of the Department of Justice’s letter, Cherise Fanno Burdeen, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute, issued the following statement:

“Yesterday, the Department of Justice brought an authoritative voice to the growing movement  to reform money bail systems in states across the nation. We’ve seen rampant unnecessary jail time in Ferguson, Baltimore, and thousands of other places as a result of money bail and the use fees and fines to pad municipal budgets. (more…)

 

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2016
Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court highlighted the need for reform in her annual State of the Judiciary address this week  

Sacramento, CA—During the state of California’s annual State of the Judiciary address today, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court called for reform of the bail system and put a spotlight the state’s efforts to develop alternatives to holding people on bail, declaring, “We need more pretrial release programs to balance safety against the need to post bail. We must not penalize the poor for being poor.” In her remarks, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye highlighted the California state court system’s new programs in 12 local courts to place nonviolent people under supervision after arrest, rather than holding them in jail awaiting bail.

Following Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s address, Cherise Fanno Burdeen, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute, issued the following statement:

(more…)

 

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2016

Contact: Robin Campbell, robin@pretrial.org, 917.434.6343

 

Washington, DC -- Federal legislation is being introduced today that will end the use of money bail throughout the United States. The historic No More Money Bail Act of 2016, proposed by Congressman Ted Lieu (CA - 33), would prohibit the use of money bail in the federal justice system and also deny Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants to any state that continues to use monetary payment as a condition of pretrial release.

Cherise Fanno Burdeen, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute, issued the following statement in support of the No More Money Bail Act of 2016:

“The Pretrial Justice Institute enthusiastically supports this legislation because America needs overarching bail reform. All across this nation, too many nonviolent people are stuck in jail pretrial because they are too poor to post money bail. (more…)

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