Do you remember a few years ago when the California Legislature attempted to end cash bail in the state? The people were able to organize and force their voices to be heard by way of Prop 25, the proposition that overturned the abolition of bail. Under the legislature’s plan (outlined in SB10), cash bail would be eliminated and replaced by a computer algorithm that would determine whether or not someone would be released from police custody pending their trial.
Well, the algorithm turned out to be severely biased against young people, the poor, and people of color. A grass-roots campaign began to get SB 10 overturned through a referendum – and it was!
Now, in an attempt to override the voice of the people, the legislature is at it again. The newest assault comes in the form of SB 262, a bill that would effectively set bail at $0 statewide for misdemeanors and low-level felonies. It’s essentially an extension of the emergency “zero bail” policy that was enacted at the start of the pandemic in an attempt to control the spread of the Corona Virus.
Citizens have already voted to block the elimination of bail in the state, but the legislature isn’t willing to listen to the will of the people.
We got a trial run of what SB262 would do to the bail system during the pandemic, and the results weren’t pretty. Offenders were being arrested, cited, and released, only to commit additional crimes after being released. In several cases, offenders were arrested, cited, and released multiple times on the same day.
Several large groups stand against SB 262, including the bail industry, the California District Attorneys Association, and Crime Victims United. The bill, if it becomes law, will make California less safe for residents – particularly those who have recently been the victims of crime themselves.
The California Supreme Court is set to rule on a case that will determine the future of bail in California. Don’t let the government make our state less safe.
Vote against SB262!