The justice system should be focused on both equity and protecting the community.
The current cash bail system releases defendants based on their financial resources and not the risk they pose to the community. Basically, if you don't have enough money, you can't get out despite the risk level of offense.
Our current system disenfranchises poor people, a disproportionate amount of which are people of color.
Other cash bail facts:
- Pretrial detainees make up 70% of the US jail population, which is about 536,000 people.
- These people have not been convicted of any crime, and might be in jail for days, weeks, or even years.
- This situation can lead to Ohioans taking plea deals to get out of jail while wealthier people can release themselves and go to trial.
We need your help to make sure Bail Reform passes so that the justice system can become a more equitable space!
- These bills require a hearing within 48 hours to determine conditions of release.
- If a judge hands down a cash bail, the defendant will be screened for his or her monthly income, minus household expenses. The bail would not exceed 25% of the defendant's "extra" income — so that if a defendant has $1,000 left after paying monthly bills, cash bail would not exceed $250.
- The statute would not apply to violent crimes or violent accused criminals, who must go through a special hearing to determine whether they are eligible for cash bail at all — and are often held without bail.
- Poor people in jail, rich people go free? Ohio's cash bail reform could change it (ABC News, 5/18/21)
- Another Effort To Reform Ohio's Cash Bail System Launched (Statehouse News Bureau, 5/19/21)
Call Script**Check to see if the person is already a co-sponsor of the bill. Please click here to view the House Criminal Justice Committee Members and the Senate Judiciary Committee Members, where House Bill 315 and Senate Bill 182 are currently in committee.
- If they already co-sponsor the bail reform legislation, thank them!
- If they are not a co-sponsor of the bail reform legislation, ask them to support the bill.
- If they are the CHAIR or of the committee, ask to prioritize this bill for hearings!
"Hello, my name is ____ . I am calling to thank (Senator Name or Representative Name) for co-sponsoring legislation on bail reform! OR I am calling to urge (Senator Name or Representative Name) to support legislation on bail reform! Supporting Points:
- I believe in a justice system focused on equity and protecting the community.
- The current cash bail system releases defendants based on their financial resources and not their danger to society.
- Non-violent individuals spending days or even months in jail awaiting their trial, and potentially violent individuals being released into the community.
- Waiting in jail pretrial can result in job loss, custody loss of children, and being almost four times more likely to be sentenced to prison than defendants released prior to trial.
You could also add a personal story and/or share that you are affiliated with ARCH or another group/organization.