[Rushtalk] Senators Harris and Paul Introduce Bill to Encourage States to Reform or Replace Unjust, Costly Money Bail System

Carl Spitzer cwsiv at juno.com
Thu Jul 20 21:12:09 MDT 2017

-------- Forwarded Message --------
From: U.S. Senator Kamala Harris <donotreply_harris at harris.senate.gov>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:54:07 -0400

                              A message from Senator Kamala D. Harris
                                    Senators Harris and Paul
                                          Introduce Bill to
                                        Encourage States to
                                          Reform or Replace
                                       Unjust, Costly Money
                                              Bail System 
                                       Today, U.S. Senator
                                    Kamala D. Harris (D-CA)
                                      and Senator Rand Paul
                                       (R-KY) introduced a
                                     bipartisan bail reform
                                       bill - The Pretrial
                                    Integrity and Safety Act
                                     of 2017 - to encourage
                                       states to reform or
                                    replace the practice of
                                          money bail, the
                                    requirement that people
                                        awaiting trial are
                                    locked up in jail unless
                                    they are able to pay for
                                      their release. Across
                                     the country, state and
                                         local governments
                                          continue to have
                                     ineffective money bail
                                    systems that negatively
                                     impact poor people and
                                          people of color.
                                    “Our justice system was
                                    designed with a promise:
                                       to treat all people
                                     equally,” said Senator
                                     Harris. “Yet more than
                                    450,000 Americans sit in
                                       jail today awaiting
                                     trial and many of them
                                       cannot afford “money
                                     bail.” In our country,
                                    whether you stay in jail
                                          or not is wholly
                                      determined by whether
                                    you’re wealthy or not -
                                       and that’s wrong. We
                                      must come together to
                                       reform a bail system
                                    that is discriminatory,
                                     wasteful, and fails to
                                       keep our communities
                                    Recently, Senator Harris
                                        toured the Central
                                        California Women’s
                                    facility in Chowchilla,
                                      CA and was briefed on
                                      the unique conditions
                                             and needs of
                                       incarcerated women.
                                       “Americans should be
                                    able to expect fair and
                                      equal treatment under
                                      the law regardless of
                                       how much money is in
                                       their pockets or how
                                      many connections they
                                       have,” said Senator
                                    Paul. “By giving states
                                        greater freedom to
                                         undertake reforms
                                    specific to their needs,
                                       our legislation will
                                          help strengthen
                                    protections for minority
                                           and low-income
                                        defendants, reduce
                                    waste, and move our bail
                                        system toward more
                                    effective methods, such
                                        as individualized,
                                    risk-based assessments.”
                                       Excessive money bail
                                     affects communities of
                                     color, as studies have
                                        shown that African
                                      Americans and Latinos
                                     are more likely to sit
                                      in jail pretrial than
                                       white defendants and
                                     less likely to be able
                                      to post money bail so
                                    they can be released. It
                                       also has an adverse
                                    effect on public safety.
                                     The Pretrial Integrity
                                    and Safety Act of 2017:
                                          * Authorizes a $10
                                              million grant
                                                   over a
                                                 period to
                                            incentivize and
                                            encourage states
                                               to reform or
                                               replace the
                                               practice of
                                               money bail.
                                              * Sets forth
                                              principles to
                                             obtain grants,
                    * Replacing money bail system with individualized,
       pretrial assessments with risk-based decision-making. The risk
    assessments must be regularly validated on a local population, and
  include objective, research-based, validated assessment tools that do
not result in unwarranted disparities on the basis of any classification
protected under Federal nondiscrimination laws or the nondiscrimination
                                laws of the applicable State.
                   * Providing for a presumption of release unless the
  judicial officer determines that such release would not result in the
appearance of the person at trial or would endanger the safety of others
                                         in the community.
                                                      * If
                conditions, it should be based on the least restrictive,
       non-financial conditions that a judicial officer determines is
                   * Supervision of bail conditions should be based on
                                   evidence-based practices.
              * Appointment of counsel at the earliest possible stage of
                                       pretrial detention.
              * Instituting a system of data collection and reporting to
                      show effectiveness of system improvements.
                                          * The bill further
                                              authorizes an
                                              additional $5
                                               million over
                                             three years to
                                              the Bureau of
                                              Statistics to
                                               implement a
                                             Program, which
                                               provides for
                                            data collection
                                                   on the
                                              processing of
                                              defendants in
                                                 state and
                                             * Requires an
                                            annual report to
                                             the Department
                                            of Justice that
                                               provides for
                                            transparency and
                                            for these grant
                                      You can view the full
                                     text of the bill here.
                                     The Pretrial Integrity
                                         and Safety Act is
                                       supported by a broad
                                       coalition of over 40
                                    leading criminal justice
                                    organizations, including
                                          Pretrial Justice
                                      Institute, Center for
                                        American Progress,
                                    Leadership Conference on
                                    Civil and Human Rights,
                                    NAACP Legal Defense and
                                    Educational Fund, NAACP,
                                    American Civil Liberties
                                          Union, National
                                    Association of Criminal
                                          Defense Lawyers,
                                           Association of
                                     Prosecuting Attorneys,
                                          and many others.
                                        For a full list of
                                       endorsements, click
                                    To learn more about the
                                      Senator's bill, check
                                    out this joint Op-Ed by
                                        Senator Harris and
                                    Senator Paul featured in
                                    today's New York Times. 
                                    Help spread the word via
                                          social media by
                                       @SenKamalaHarris and
                                    tagging @SenKamalaHarris
                                    in your tweets and share
                                              posts from
                                    @SenatorKamalaHarris on
                                          Facebook and tag
                                    @SenatorKamalaHarris in
                                    Facebook posts. Also, be
                                    sure to use #BailReform.
                                    Below are sample tweets
                                       you can use to help
                                         spread the word. 
                                           SAMPLE TWEETS:
                                          * In our country,
                                            you may stay in
                                            jail even if you
                                            didn't commit a
                                               crime - just
                                               because you
                                            can't make bail.
                                             We need to fix
                                          * Criminal justice
                                             reform isn’t a
                                            bipartisan issue
                                                  - it’s a
                                              and @RandPaul
                                              have plan for
                                           * Not being able
                                            to make bail for
                                               a crime you
                                              didn't commit
                                            could cost you:
                                                  your job
                                                 your home
                                                 your kids
                                              It’s time for
                                    Julie Chávez Rodríguez 
                                          State Director 
                                     U.S. Senator Kamala D.
                                                112 Hart
                                            Senate Office
                                           Washington, DC
                                              Phone (202)
                                               Fax (202)
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                                               Suite 1748
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                                               CA  90012
                                              Phone (213)
                                              894 - 5000 
                                            Fax (202) 224
                                                  - 0357
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                                               50 United
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                                               CA  94102
                                              Phone (415)
                                              355 - 9041 
                                            Fax (202) 224
                                                  - 0454
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                                               Suite 5290
                                               Fresno, CA
                                              Phone (559)
                                              497 - 5109 
                                            Fax (202) 228
                                                 - 3864 
                                             501 I Street
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                                               CA  95814
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                                              448 - 2787 
                                            Fax (202) 228
                                                 - 3865 
                                               San Diego
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                                               Suite 2240
                                            San Diego, CA
                                              Phone (619)
                                              239 - 3884 
                                            Fax (202) 228
                                                 - 3863 


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