Justice Vs. Economic Benefit—Is Bail Abolition Really The Best Way To Improve The Criminal Justice System?

The criminal justice system has long made ordinary defendants suffer, exploiting their rights, or lack thereof due to inaccessible legal recourse. Bail is a culprit in this area. 

Here’s how it affects us:

Economic benefit—are we doing things right?

The concept of bail exists because defendants have every right to be released before trial. Bringing money into it puts forward the notion that bail is only for the select few who can afford it. This invalidates the idea of bail—that every defendant deserves the opportunity to be released, irrespective of whether or not they have the means. 

Let’s take a look at the economic benefit it brings about. The nationwide median for felony-related bail is around $10,000. As for misdemeanors, the amount hugely varies. In New York, it’s mostly under $2,000, while it can be much higher in other places. 

The bail amount is also crude and inexact, as a judge gets to set the number. Moreover, there is no law that makes it easy for poor defendants to post bail without emptying their pockets. 

What the justice system fails to realize is that jailing too many people causes significant economic loss. When prisoners are locked behind bars, their labor market activities are affected and they are no longer productive members of society. This reduces the cash that flows into the economy. 

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How has justice suffered?

The bail system has led to the formation of a two-tiered justice system throughout the US. Did you know about half a million unconvicted prisoners are behind bars on any given day? Over months of incarceration, most defendants end up losing their jobs, housing, and insurance. The first ones to suffer are people living below the poverty line and people of color. 

In the words of one of the directors at the American Civil Liberties Union, the bail system is not only largely corrupt but also a broken part of the judicial system as a whole. 

As per another report, the bail system has been accused of perpetuating a cycle of poverty and jail time. As per the law, it’s illegal to detain people just because they’re poor; but then again, that’s exactly what’s happening. The same report also states that 99% of people who were convicted between 1999 and 2014 were actually innocent. 

It’s normal to find yourself in the middle of some trouble. If you’re strapped for cash, DeLaughter Bail Bonds is the affordable option that you need. Get in touch to learn more about our bail bond services in Indiana. 

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