The vaguely understood pretrial process of bail costs the taxpayers of the United States billions of dollars and infringes on the liberty and rights of millions of Americans each year.
Fortunately, there are alternatives that states and localities can pursue that have been shown to effectively promote safety, deliver justice, and decrease the number of people in jails all while reducing the price of this incarceration to taxpayers and those directly impacted. Numerous reports and studies have supported the elimination of money bail since the early 1900’s; however, reform efforts have been slow. With the era of mass incarceration putting the United States at the top of the world regarding the number of its residents behind bars, the need for reform has become increasingly urgent. States that cannot maintain burgeoning criminal justice systems are now open to safer, more effective ideas.