Ella Baker Center Statement on Findings from California Chief Justice's Bail Workgroup

Today, a workgroup established by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to study current bail and pretrial detention practices and provide recommendations for potential reforms released their report, identifying recommendations to overhaul California’s pretrial system. 

The following is a statement from Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Executive Director Zachary Norris, in response to the findings and recommendations of the workgroup:

“The findings outlined in the workgroup’s report offer further support that the current money bail system is both unjust and unsafe for our communities.

The money bail system punishes people for being poor and disproportionately impacts people of color, who are most often targeted for arrest and incarceration. The result is that whole families suffer, as they take on long-term debt to purchase the safety and freedom of loved ones.  

To overhaul this unjust system, we believe we must stop locking people up who can’t afford to buy their freedom, and instead prioritize services to help people make their court appearances while their cases move forward."