In the 2022 election, Ohioans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Issue 1. The new amendment to the state constitutions that will allow judges to use cash bail to address circumstances when they have concerns about public safety.
Over the past two decades, the use of cash bail has grown substantially. At the same time, bail amounts have also risen. This has led to an increase in the number of people who are unable to make bail. According to a report issued last year from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, more than 60 percent of defendants are detained pre-trial because they can’t afford to post bail. Those numbers are higher for women and people of color.
America’s cash bail system is based on the idea that money is necessary to ensure that a person returns to court--but The Bail Project is on a mission to prove that idea wrong. Founded in 2018, the nonprofit aims to combat mass incarceration through bail reform. Using a national revolving bail fund, The Bail Project has worked with community partners in cities across the country to bring free bail assistance to more than 28,000 low-income people to date. Since August 2019, The Bail Project has operated a site serving low-income clients in Cuyahoga County and secured release for more than 1,000 people and counting.
Join Robin Steinberg, Founder of The Bail Project, and David Gaspar, Incoming CEO of The Bail Project, for a discussion about the future of bail reform and how communities can utilize grassroots organizations to create a more just and equitable pretrial system.
Steinberg is also the author of the forthcoming book, The Courage of Compassion: A Journey from Judgment to Connection, which explores what it will really take for us to reimagine and transform criminal justice in America.
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