The Problem

bail in americaThe American system of bail is fundamentally incapable of doing the job we expect from it. Those with money—regardless of where they got the money or their danger to the community or victims—can purchase their freedom while poor defendants remain in jail pending trial.

Minton, Todd D. Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 - Statistical Tables. Bureau of Justice Statistics. U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs, 2013. Chung, J. (2012). Bailing on Baltimore: Voices from the Front Lines of the Justice System. Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute Eric Holder, “Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the national Symposium on Pretrial Justice,” June 1, 2011. Cohen, Thomas H. and Tracey Kyckelhahn. Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2006. Government Report. U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics , 2010. Table 6 shows that 70% of felony defendants received a bail, While 37% are held on bail, equalling 53% of those who received bail. 668,800 Total Adminssion in 2011÷12,408,899 arrests in 2011=5.4%. Total admission from: Carson, Ann E. and William, J. Sabol. Prisoners in 2011. Government Report. U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics , 2012. Total arrests from: U.S. Department of Justice. Persons Arrested. UCR. Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2012. Phillips, M. T. (2007). Bail, detention & non-felony case outcomes. New York City Criminal Justice Agency Research Brief No. 14.