The practice of cash bail has been criticized for perpetuating income inequality. Cash bail disproportionately affects lower-income and underrepresented minority groups. In California, the average posted bail amount is $50,000. SB 10 (2018) was passed in August 2018. However, replacing cash bail has been opposed on by several groups since the bill was introduced in 2016.
Specifics & Figures
Bail system: replaces money bail system (for obtaining release from jail before trial) with a system based on a determination of public safety and flight risk.
Detention: pre-trial jail greatly limited for persons who allegedly committed misdemeanors.
Likely increased costs of mid-hundreds of millions to implement new legal processes. Likely decreased costs of high tens of millions in county jail costs. Decreased financial, mental, and social impacts on individuals who would have otherwise been in subject to bail or jail time pre-trial.
Prop 25 replaces the cash bail system with a more just system that is based on safety and fairness. The current cash bail system unfairly places additional burdens on persons from low-income backgrounds while wealthier persons are able to pay out their pre-trial detention. Prop 25 will save local governments millions per year as county jail facilities will be utilized less. Prop 25 is needed to overcome the resistance of the predatory money bail industry that profits off those held on bail in the current unjust system.
While the cash bail system needs reform, Prop 25 will not provide the necessary changes and will even introduce a worse system. SB 10 replaces cash bail with an algorithm that assess safety and flight risk, leaving the system vulnerable to unacceptable racial and random biases. The government should not have any role in deciding whether a person poses a danger to society or not, as that could lead to abuse of the system and further existing racial and income inequalities. The government should not be legislating morality and SB 10 is a seriously flawed attempt to fix a discriminatory system by replacing it with even more problems.
Endorsements In Support
CA Democratic Party, many CA Legislature Democrats, progressive advocacy groups, a couple labor unions [Website]
Endorsements Not in Favor
Several Chambers of Commerce, bail industry groups, several mayors and city councilmembers, county sheriffs and law enforcement groups [Website]