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Bail System Reforms Announced

Mar 15, 2019

Unless a person accused of a crime poses a danger to society, or is a flight risk, they would be released from custody pre-trial under a package announced today. Working in a bipartisan, and bicameral manner, members of the House and Senate, along with Attorney General Dana Nessel, announced the packages reforming the bail system, ensuring that a person isn’t released on bail due to a lack of funds.

Aspects of the package include:

    • Make a pretrial release the standard and require judges to take a person’s ability to pay into account when setting bail, if a cash bail is needed
    • Requires that defendants have access to financial disclosure forms
    • The State Court Administrative Office would be required to submit a regular report to track bail cases
    • Encourage local governments to monitor and repurpose a portion of their savings toward community policing

The House bills were referred to the House Judiciary Committee for review. The Senate package was referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee for review.

According to a press release, Michigan spends more than $180 million a year to keep citizens locked up because they can’t afford to post bail.

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