The National Judicial College recently surveyed their members with the following question: “Should the money-based bail system be abolished?” More than 800 judges responded and 69% said NO. Bail reform rejected by judges is no surprise. Judges understand better than anyone that the bail system puts public safety first.
Why is bail reform rejected by judges?
The article from the NJC blog reported comments from many of the judges who took their survey:
“Money talks, and it gets people to court”
“Other bail methods, such as signature bonds or return on own recognizance, aren’t as effective”
“Courts should be more concerned with public safety than the rights of the accused”
“Software used risk assessments is not reliable enough to make detention decisions”
“Jurisdictions lack the resources to supervise released defendants”
“The bail system is a time-tested, fair, constitutional system of reducing jail population and the attendant costs to the county while ensuring the criminal defendant appears in court”
“The idea of an individualized, ‘threat-based’ assessment of each defendant in our already overburdened courts is, at best, naïve and, at worst, dangerous”
The majority of the judges who are members of the National Judicial College support keeping money bail in place because it works. Recent experiences in New Jersey, New Mexico, Alaska, and Texas are proving that bail reform is dangerous and results in more crime, not less.
Almost 50% of those arrested and released without paying bail in Harris County, TX don’t return to court. 14 Harris County judges have publicly said that bail reform is causing irreparable harm to Texas communities.
So why isn’t bail reform rejected by more elected officials? There are a lot of myths about our current bail system and we need your help to convince the Texas Legislature that bail reform is a bad idea for Texas. You can call your State Representative or state senator and tell them NO BAIL REFORM!