Last month, California became the first state to completely abolish the cash bail-bond system for suspects awaiting trial. “Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” Governor Jerry Brown said at the signing ceremony for SB 10, the California Money Bail Reform Act. The Governor’s signature on SB 10 mandates that the entire bail bond industry will be out of business, in favor of a “risk-based assessment” of the accused, on October 1, 2019 when the bill goes into effect.
In a striking reversal of support, criminal justice organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) not only withdrew support of the final version of SB 10, which they had previously advocated for, but began actively opposing it.
What prompted the change was because SB10 replaces money bail with a pre-trial risk assessment that critics claim will increase pre-trial incarceration and “lacks protections against racial bias,” said Natasha Minsker, a spokesperson for the California branch of the ACLU.
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