February 24, 2023

California: A Warning on Bail Reform

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By Ophelia Garrett

In Brief: 

A report has been released showing the dangers and lunacy of bail reform. The re-arrest rate of those who had $0 in bail, versus those who paid bail, is very telling.

The Background: 

During the early days of the COVID pandemic, California enacted a lower to zero-dollar bail option under the guise of clearing crowded jails to slow the spread of COVID. However the numbers and reports are now coming in, and it isn’t pretty. 

Yolo County, California kept the bail at $0 until June 2021. They are now reporting that more than 70 percent of those released without bail were arrested for additional crimes.

The analysis also compared recidivism rates over an 18-month period, finding that 78 percent of suspects released without bail were rearrested for crimes while only 46 percent of those who paid bail were rearrested, according to Breitbart. 

“A 163% increase in total crime and a 200% increase in violent crime by arrestees released on zero bail, when compared to those released by the courts on traditional bail, is the type of compelling data that should drive future discussion on any contemplated bail reform,” Jeff Reisig, Yolo District Attorney said.

Many of those suspects freed without bail were rearrested for violent crimes including homicide, rape, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic violence.

Notable Quotes: 

“The results of this recent study on the actual impacts of zero bail policies clearly demonstrate that victimization dramatically increases, and public safety is significantly compromised, when bail is eliminated as a tool for use by the courts.” – Jeff Reisig, Yolo District Attorney


What do you think?