Rand Paul and Kamala Harris have seemingly joined forces to introduce a new legisation designed to reform the criminal justice system. This bill, known as the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017, will allow a $10,000,000 grant over a three year period for states and American Indian tribes who either replace or reform the practice of bail.
As reported by The Blaze:
According to the senators, the current system disproportionately favors the wealthy. If two people — one from a lower middle-class background and another from an upper-class background — commit the same crime and they have the same bail amount, the wealthier person would be released until their trial simply based on their ability to pay their bail.
Under the bill, states would need to conduct a pretrial assessment to determine the suspect’s flight risk and the likelihood of failing to appear at trial. In general, states would also be required to partake in “presumptive releases,” meaning every person is released unless their release endangers the safety of others or they would fail to appear in court.
“Whether someone stays in jail or not is far too often determined by wealth or social connections, even though just a few days behind bars can cost people their job, home, custody of their children — or their life,” the senators wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “As criminal justice groups work to change sentencing and mandatory minimum laws, we must also reform a bail system that is discriminatory and wasteful.”