WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today to oppose bill SB 10 which will expand the number of Californians eligible for preventative pretrial detention:
“As a bipartisan advocacy organization committed to advancing safe and significant reductions in the national incarceration rate, we appreciate the urgent need for meaningful bail reform. We were encouraged by recent efforts across California to educate elected officials and the public about the extraordinary harm caused by unnecessary pretrial jailing, money bail, and the for-profit bail bonds industry. We were hopeful at the introduction of SB 10 and considered it a first step toward much-needed reform.
“That said, the drastically amended and recently enacted SB 10 would take California in the wrong direction.
“Study after study makes clear that America pays a huge fiscal and human price for jailing far too many people while they await trial. While SB 10 delivers a necessary blow to the predatory bail bonds industry, it expands–rather than shrinks–the number of Californians eligible for preventative pretrial detention. In a criminal justice system where injustice has been driven largely by overly broad discretionary powers instilled in the courts and prosecution, SB10 offers still more opportunities for those same practitioners to decide on questions of liberty without the necessary due process protections. This is not the direction we should be moving.
“The country is increasingly learning about and concerned by pretrial detention rates and the existing bail system. Now is the time for places like California to lead by offering models for meaningful reforms that deliver more safety, fairness, and freedom. We hope Californians at the local and state level will turn to the urgent work of addressing the failings of SB 10 and of the larger pretrial justice system.”