Bonta, Hertzberg Welcome Judiciary’s Bail Reform Recommendations
Judges echo SB 10 by calling for an end to the cash bail system, creating pretrial services agencies to assess if defendants are safe to be released
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, who have jointly authored legislation to reform a pretrial process that keeps many people in jail simply because they cannot afford bail issued the following statements regarding a report released today by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup:
“All year long, our opponents have pointed at the Chief Justice’s working group on bail and said wait for its recommendations before moving forward,” Hertzberg said. “Well, we did, and the judges have ruled: We must replace money bail because it is unsafe and unfair. We must create pretrial service agencies that assess defendants’ risks. That is their conclusion, and I look forward to moving our legislation forward next year.”
“These recommendations reflect the overwhelming belief that wealth-based justice is not justice at all,” Bonta said. “For too long, California has linked liberty with personal wealth. For too long, California has forced people who don’t pose a threat to the public and who have not been convicted of a crime to sit in jail and face losing their jobs, their cars, their homes and even their children if they can’t afford to buy their freedom. I applaud the Chief Justice’s working group for this comprehensive review of how California can enhance pretrial justice while protecting public safety.”
Hertzberg and Bonta are co-authors of SB 10, legislation that would reform the bail system to safely reduce the number of people being held in jail awaiting trial and ensure that those who are not a threat to public safety or at risk of fleeing are not held simply for their inability to afford bail.
The bill would require that a pretrial services agency conduct a risk assessment and prepare a report that makes recommendations on conditions of release before a trial or determines if a person is too dangerous and therefore should remain in jail.
The legislation was passed by the Senate in May and is due to be considered by the Assembly after the Legislature reconvenes in January.