Prosecutors and Bail: Using Discretion to Build an Equitable and Effective System
Date:  10-16-2017

443,000 of the 630,000 people in U.S. Jails are awaiting trial
From Institute for Innovation in Prosecution:

Of the 630,000 people in U.S. jails today, 443,000 are awaiting trial. That is, 7 in 10 people behind bars in the nation's more than 3,000 jails are presumed innocent. Over the last 15 years, 99% of the total jail growth in the United States was in pretrial detention, and 90% of those awaiting trial in jail are incarcerated because they have not paid bond. As human stories and accompanying research increasingly document the urgent need for bail reform, and local and state legislatures consider legislation regulating the use of cash bail, prosecutors can take immediate action to advance bail reform that can help build a more equitable and effective system. Using their power as democratically elected officials with significant discretion, prosecutors have the capacity to devise and implement bail policies and practices that are true to the constitutional protections of equality under the law and innocent until proven guilty.

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