Cutting State Programs for a New Failing Bail System in California
California Senate Bill 10 and its companion Assembly Bill 42 are being authored by Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) in an effort to eliminate the use of money bail bonds. In its place, a “statewide risk assessment tool” will be established to determine, during the intake process, if a defendant poses a flight risk or a danger to the community, or if they are eligible to be released. This legislation would also require each county in California to establish a similar “pretrial services agency.”
Hertzberg and Bonta claim that the savings from holding fewer people in jail would more than cover the cost of the new “tool” and “pretrial services agency.” In addition, they claim that the cost of housing an inmate, which is currently at $100 a day, would go down to approximately $18 a day by shifting to just monitoring defendants.
My concern is that this new bail system program becomes another policy that will create an unsafe environment for the public and further passes the problem to local government. How many more times are we going to be told that a new government program will just cost X, but months later that number doubles, triples and quadruples? Local governments are hemorrhaging financially and our state is back to a $1.6 billion deficit.
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