The Devil is in the Details

Why California Bail Reform is struggling in Assembly Committees

Undoubtedly, bail reform and, more importantly, reform of California’s criminal justice system is imperative. The problem is that no one has really worked out the details. No one has really considered at what cost eliminating the cash bail system would be. The push to overhaul the system comes at a great cost to California taxpayers and a great burden to overtaxed law enforcement and court systems. Instead of bringing everyone to the table, including bondsmen, California legislators would rather simply pass a bill to eliminate the cash bail system and deal with the details later. This is a system guaranteed to fail… just look at the federal government’s attempts to overhaul health care.

What we need is open conversation that brings everyone to the discussion. Elimination of the cash bail system simply doesn’t work. It takes away a crucial component of our criminal justice system that keeps the number of fugitives low and protects the rights of victims. Instead, there is room for reform. Law enforcement agents, prosecutors, judges, bail bondsmen, victim’s rights groups, public defenders, private attorneys and the public all deserve to be heard. Perhaps once everyone comes together real compromise can take place that helps everyone. For now, we’ll see what happens in the California Legislature, but my guess is that at some point everyone will have to work together to find a solution.


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