WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) today introduced the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017. The legislation would take steps toward reforming the injustices of the money bail system that incarcerates people who have not been convicted of a crime because of their inability to pay.
Kanya Bennett, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following reaction:
“Too many people in this country must spend weeks, months, or even years in jail waiting for trial only because they can’t afford bail. Even though these people are innocent in the eyes of the law, they’re punished, deprived of their freedom with disastrous consequences for their families and their lives.
“The Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act would be a strong step toward countering the injustices of the money bail system and building safer communities, stronger families, and a more fair criminal justice system. While this bill isn’t perfect, its reforms would be progress towards fixing the systematic problems that have led to mass incarceration. The ACLU will continue to work to eliminate all forms of preventive detention as well as all unnecessary bail conditions.”
For more information about money bail, see “Selling Off Our Freedom,” a joint report by Color of Change and the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice: