In August 2019, California became the first US state to completely abolish money bail. The state intends to replace the system with a risk assessment infrastructure through which they intend to reduce the number of prisoners.
Although the decision was met with a reasonable amount of resistance, the change has still been largely welcomed. And while California has decided to repeal the system altogether, there is still some debate going on about whether or not this will address the issue at large.
In this post, we’ll discuss the two best alternatives that the US can adopt:
- Repeal the bail bond system and replace it with risk assessment
- Reform the system and make necessary amendments
A lowdown on the risk assessment system
When we say repeal the law, we mean getting rid of money bail altogether. As a replacement, the government intends to replace the system with pretrial risk assessments.
Under this scheme, people who are considered‘low’ risk will be released. As for people who pose a‘medium’ risk, the jury will assess whether or not they should be released.
For those who carry ‘substantial’ risk, they will be jailed until the trial takes place.
Why revoking the law makes little sense
Identifying the exact risk associated with a defendant and quantifying it is not as simple as it sounds. Most risk assessment tools that states use gauge whether the defendant is capable of committing a ‘new violent criminal activity’ or not.
Predicting someone’s future criminal behavior requires combined research in the field of sociology, law, data science, and psychology.
With the caseload that’s pending right now, US courts don’t have a lot of time to carry out this kind of assessment for each case separately, let alone bear hefty costs of doing so.
It’s also not too easy to trust these tools and assume that there will be no bias whatsoever. Crime is never predictable, and you can never truly rely on data science tools to assume future violent outcomes. There is currently no proof or substantial research that indicates that such programs will be effective or fair.
In addition, the process involves little or no discretion on the part of the judges. Their years-long experience, practice, and judgment play no part whatsoever.
The fairest way to bring the poor and the rich on the same page of the justice system is through affordable bail bonds. It gives them both an equal right to post their bail and deal with the proceedings of the case legally. Get in touch with DeLaughter Bail Bonds to see how we can help you in Indiana.