Newsroom

The Bail Project / Newsroom (Page 33)

As jails become overcrowded and conditions continue to deteriorate, the knee-jerk reaction from lawmakers is usually to build a new jail, eating up millions of dollars that could be better used to address communities’ needs and safety. This is particularly unfortunate because most jails in the U.S. are filled primarily with people being detained pretrial. This report provides some vital questions anyone anywhere with a proposed jail expansion should ask, including, of course: Are we holding too many people pretrial?

Summarized by: Jacob Koffler

“When Nicholas Colbert, a 36-year-old Army National Guard veteran, died last Friday in the Cuyahoga County jail, in Cleveland, Ohio, he became the ninth detainee to die in the jail system over the last year—and the fifth to die by suicide…The jail’s conditions are the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in December that was amended last month. Twenty plaintiffs, including current and former detainees, accuse the co-defendants of failing to provide safe and habitable living conditions for people incarcerated in the jail.”

There’s been a lot of recent – and justified! – focus on electing progressive prosecutors as an integral element of the movement for bail reform and to end cash bail (see: Philly, St. Louis, Queens). A new wave of organizing has its sights set on judges, who do ultimately make a lot of the final decisions when it comes to bail (and, of course, much more). This piece explores the politics behind judicial races and the impact judicial organizing can have on decarceration.

Summarized by: Jacob Koffler