San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial: Local GOP lawmakers should rally to bail reform cause

California charges more for bail than any other state, leaving, by one estimate, about 60 percent of inmates in county jails who haven’t been convicted or who are awaiting sentencing because they can’t afford to bail themselves out. But other states charge far less for bail and do just as well in getting accused individuals to show up for trials. Washington D.C. has scrapped cash bail entirely and so far is not struggling with trial no-shows.

Given how costly it is to operate jails — and also given how much time in jail disrupts people’s lives, harms their families and jeopardizes their jobs — California’s bail policy is a relic in need of reform. Thankfully, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, realized this and introduced identical bills in each chamber to adopt a Washington-style approach. Hertzberg’s bill passed the Senate 26-11, but it faces trouble in the Assembly, where Bonta’s bill failed by two votes last week, with 37 no votes and only 35 yes votes.

Read full editorial via San Diego Union-Tribune.


Kenny Foster