“Just putting someone in jail and attaching a dollar amount to it is not guaranteeing that they will return to court,” Bail Disruptor Anthony Body says. “One thing I will say is that they’ll end up right back in the system if they can’t afford bail.”
There is a better way: treat people like individuals rather than statistical “risk scores” and focus on disrupting the cycles of poverty and vulnerability that keep so many trapped in the revolving door of mass incarceration.
“You’re talking about folks that have lost, or have the potential of losing their homes, their apartments, things of that nature, losing their jobs, their children—perhaps custody of their children,” TBP’s Kareem Henton said.
From Pilar Weiss, Director of Community Justice Exchange: We are at a crossroads where campaigns to end money bail and pretrial incarceration must also contend with the broad and insidious introduction of risk assessment tools (RATs) as one of the “replacement” interventions the system wants to claim as “reform.” We created this guide for organizers contending with this tension — how to engage with risk assessment tools in their work to end pretrial incarceration and mass supervision.
Our team in Louisville worked hard in the weeks prior to Thanksgiving, coordinating with the local public defender’s office to post bail for as many people as possible before the court closed for the holiday.