California became the first state in the country to end “cash bail.” Starting next year instead of putting up money, judges will determine whether to release people arrested based on the defendant’s threat to the community and flight risk.
This could be a real help to low-income people arrested but held in jail because they can’t afford to put up bail.
But critics, and there are many, say that it puts too much power in a judge’s hands and that they will be too conservative in releasing prisoners because of fear of public backlash if somebody commits more crimes after being released.
Needless to say, bail bond companies plan to fight back aggressively and vow to put the new law on the ballot to let voters decide.
Here’s a good article that answers questions about the new no-cash bail law and the possible pros and cons.