This past Monday, December 11th, a judge in OC declined to issue a preliminary injunction that would have halted Los Angeles County’s zero bail initiative. 29 separate cities, as well as several organizations (including SCV Bail Bonds), have petitioned the judge in an effort to correct what is seen as a problematic bail overhaul.
If you’re unfamiliar with zero bail, the initiative was re-enacted on Oct. 1st in Los Angeles County, allowing most people who have bail set at less than $50,000 to be free from pretrial incarceration. First enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the zero bail initiative was originally intended to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons. While keeping people out of jails likely played a part in reducing infections, it also played a part in incentivizing repeated offenses.
Once police started letting people go instead of putting them in jail, repeat offenders skyrocketed from their previous numbers before the pandemic. A few suspects were arrested and released multiple times on the same day, for different crimes. It’s also believed that the zero bail initiative has had something to do with the rise in smash-and-grab crimes that have plagued Los Angeles and surrounding areas for a while now.
As mentioned, the judge on Monday declined to issue an injunction on the zero bail initiative. However, he did let the plaintiffs in the case have more time to file an amended complaint that might have a different outcome later on. Now, the cities and plaintiffs in the case have until the end of January to amend their prior complaint and add any additional data that will lend weight to their claims that the zero bail initiative is a threat to public safety.