OVER 70% OF PEOPLE DETAINED IN THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY JAILS ARE PRETRIAL, MEANING THEY HAVE NOT BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME.
They are incarcerated because they have been charged with a crime and can not afford bail. This means freedom from incarceration is based on whether or not people have the means for their release. As a result of pretrial incarceration, people suffer irrevocable harm — the loss of employment, housing, and more. Those who do pay bail, do not get that money back, and families are often placed in debt as a result — whether or not the person is ultimately convicted.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY SHOULD ELIMINATE THE RELIANCE ON MONEY BAIL.
Alternatives to money bail such as pretrial review, community driven assessment tools, and community release projects, can allow for a reduction in pretrial detention, while also maintaining public safety and court appearances.
- Final Bail and Release Work Group Meeting
- Santa Clara County Counsel and Executive Office’s Analysis of Bail System
- Bail and Release Work Group Report
- Pretrial Justice Institute Letter to Board of Supervisors
- San Jose civil rights, immigrant rights and labor sign on letter to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
- Bail and Release Work Group Recommendations Summary Matrix
- The Bail Trap, New York Times
- Bail or Die: The Choice of a Detained Man in a Broken Jail
- Motion Infographic on Santa Clara County Bail Data
- Bail Reform Proposed to Help Poor Defendants in Santa Clara County
- Santa Clara County Votes in Sweeping Bail Reform
TIMELINE AND STATUS:
February 2014: Santa Clara County Convenes Bail and Work
February 2016: Santa Clara County Convenes Fourth Bail and Work Release Group to Study County Recommendations
August 2016: Final Bail and Release Work Group After Bail Industry Lobbyists Submits Responses to Recommendations
October 2016: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will vote on recommendations proposed by the Bail and Release Work Group
October 4, 2016: Santa Clara County votes in unprecedented bail reform initiatives.
CAMPAIGN STATUS: WE WON!
On October 4th, 2016 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted in unprecedented bail reform measures that will significantly reduce the number of people detained pretrial, as well as reduce the usage of the money bail system. The boards vote was the culmination of a two year campaign, and has set the pace for the rest of California. The victory also includes innovations in pretrial justice that may set the model for the nation — such as the Community Release Project.