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Lam, Courtney

"In an attempt to reduce jail overcrowding, attention is turning to the 63 percent of people held in county jails who have not been convicted of a crime. Many of these people are waiting for their day in court in jail — not because they pose a risk to public safety, but simply because they cannot afford to post bail … This publication examines the challenges of relying on a monetary bail system and highlights existing solutions, such as pretrial services, that save money, reduce racial disparities, alleviate jail bed space, and promote public safety" (p. 1-2). Sections of this report cover: background on the monetary bail system; use of monetary bail creates income and racial disparities; bail release definitions; pretrial detention results in adverse outcomes; collateral consequences; a cash-dependent system does not promote public safety; pretrial services are effective alternatives to monetary bail; and in California's post-Realignment era.

Pretrial Services: An Effective Alternative to Monetary Bail Cover
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