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  #1  
Old 11-14-2017, 09:38 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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Default NYC charity bails people out

http://www.thebronxfreedomfund.org/

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For our community in the South Bronx, “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply. With one of the most backlogged court systems in the country, people wait years before going to trial. Even one night in jail can cause someone to lose their job, their housing, and even custody of their children.
We are a nonprofit with a revolving fund to pay bail for people accused of misdemeanors. Our goal is to keep people in their communities while they await trial – and to fight for a system that no longer criminalizes poverty.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:24 PM
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They are going national.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/n...mo-region&_r=2

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Ms. Steinberg also noted that remaining in jail without paying bail can affect the results of criminal proceedings. In New York, she said, more than 90 percent of those who cannot pay bail and stay locked up until their cases are concluded end up pleading guilty. But more than half of her clients in the Bronx who were freed on bail, she said, had their cases dismissed by prosecutors once they were released.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:36 PM
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In my opinion, it would be better to work on changing laws and common police practices. Why are people even brought to jail and required to pay bail for misdemeanors instead of being cited and released? Why are so many getting charged in the first place? And I don't mean to blame the people who are getting arrested, but perhaps it would make sense to educate the general population on how to avoid common police traps such as obtaining consent to search a car stopped under some pretext or talking to the police. Many people know what to do or learn the lesson once they deal with the justice system, but perhaps there are still some who are not aware of their rights, or some police tricks that many people haven't heard of.

Now, of course, the individuals who area actually getting arrested want to get out. It would not be reasonable to expect them to choose jail instead. However, the problem with paying bail is that this unfair system is still getting the money. In fact, it is probably getting more money (and spending less on incarceration costs) since some of the people in jail wouldn't have been able to afford bail. It also creates an unfair difference between the lucky few who are getting this help and those who are not.

Feeding the system without creating higher costs some other way is not providing the system any incentive to change. On the contrary, there may be an incentive to get the charity to provide as much money as possible.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:53 PM
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All cromulent points.

I'll be pushing my legislators for bail reform as the next thing after my current pet project.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:16 AM
prisonlady prisonlady is offline
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To be honest, I actually believe that in the medium to long term, it would make sense to get most people to stop paying bail.

Naturally, most wouldn't agree, and it is indeed too much to ask except when the chances of actually getting out are slim in the first place. However, since many only pay a fraction of the bail, it would make more sense to get bail bond companies banned or discourage them from doing business.

The problem is that such an approach would be cruel to those who remain in jail and would seem elitist if those who can afford to do so would just pay the bail in full. It would also take time until the system would collapse. From a public relations standpoint, most organizations would prefer to be known for helping bring a few moms or dads home (this is often presented in such terms) than for disempowering the many individuals who can pay a portion of the bail but not the full amount.
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