News &
Press Releases
September 25, 2020
Endorsement: Yes on Prop. 25: Cash bail destroys lives
The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board has long advocated for a range of criminal-justice reforms. Our heavily punitive system ruins rather than rehabilitates the lives of too many people, especially in communities of color. One of the worst examples of this is requiring those accused of even relatively minor offenses to post cash bail or secure a bail bond before they are released. For the one-third of Californians who are impoverished or close to it, this can mean they spend months at a time in local jails — upending their lives, costing them jobs, hurting their education and family members, and in some cases spurring them to accept plea bargains despite a belief in their innocence. National studies that show bail amounts for Black and Latino men are typically a third higher than those for White men are astonishing and appalling.
October 09, 2020
To reform California’s unfair and racist bail system, vote yes on Proposition 25
California’s old bail system, which kept people behind bars if they could not pay thousands of dollars to remain free while awaiting trial, was outdated, unfair and racist. A study of the bail system in San Francisco revealed that it disproportionately harmed African Americans and Latinos.
The Signal Santa Clarita Valley
October 8, 2020
Steve Lunetta | ‘Uncle Earl’s’ 2020 Proposition Voter Guide
Right about election time, I sit down with my dear old Uncle Earl and ask him his election preferences. Now, mind you, he’s a very crusty old dude but he has much wisdom and is often worth listening to.
The Press Democrat
October 8, 2020
PD Editorial: Yes on Prop 25, end California’s cash bail system
The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of the American justice system. Yet many people get stuck in jail for months without being convicted of anything. In one especially egregious case, a 64-year-old San Francisco man accused of stealing a $5 bottle of cologne was held for 11 months, first on $600,000 bail, then $350,000. He was eventually released to a drug treatment program, but only after a state appellate court intervened.
The Orange County Register
August 21, 2020
Yes on Proposition 25 for a more just and fair criminal justice system
The problem with the current system is that people who are innocent can suffer life-destroying consequences if they are arrested and eligible for bail, but lack the financial resources to pay thousands of dollars for a bail bond. While locked up for months before a trial, people can lose their jobs, fall behind on payments for housing and plunge into an even deeper financial hole. Those who are able to borrow money for a bail bond can suffer ongoing harm from the added debt burden.
The Mercury News
August 21, 2020
Editorial: Support Prop. 25, end California’s unfair cash-bail system
Under the current system, wealthy defendants can post bail directly to the court and get the money back at the completion of their cases. But low-income people charged with crimes don’t have the means to post the full bail. They have two options: Stay in jail, losing their income and possibly their job, or use a private bail-bond company to gain freedom while awaiting trial. Those defendants must pay a non-refundable portion of the total bail to the bond companies — roughly 10% of the bail amount.
The Bakersfield Californian
Aug 22, 2020
OUR VIEW: Endorsement: Law and order: Vote NO on 20; Vote YES on 25
The rationale was that a cash bail system punishes poor people charged with non-violent or minor crimes, who can’t afford to pay bail, while more wealthy people charged with more serious, violent crimes can go free awaiting trial simply because they can afford to pay the bail. Allowing judges to assess defendants’ risks, rather than the size of their wallets seemed more equitable. The bail bond industry, which stands to lose a lot of money if the old system is eliminated, quickly launched this referendum campaign to stall enactment of the law.
Los Angeles Times
June 7, 2020
Editorial: Justice reforms are at risk at the ballot box. Protest now, vote in November
It makes little sense to protest police violence while voting in favor of measures that weaken police discipline and loot city budgets to raise police pay. Change that begins on the streets must be followed up with voter education, voter mobilization and voter action. Police unions, bail bondsmen and others who don’t like criminal justice reform know how to get their people to the polls. Don’t let them be the only ones.
LA Weekly
November 2, 2017
California's bail system is about money, not justice, report finds
California has a bail problem. A new report from the nonprofit Pretrial Justice Institute took a look at how the Golden State deals with presumed-innocents thrown in jail and gives the state a grade of D. The state has a high rate of putting folks behind bars before they're tried, and it rarely uses “pretrial assessment” to determine of suspects could go free without bail.
CBS News
June 2, 2019
Re-making bail
For those who worry there's a public safety risk to releasing those who are accused but not convicted, Phil Telfeyan says they need look no further than the nation's capital. Washington, D.C. largely did away with its cash bail system back in 1992, and statistics show it has not caused an increase in crime.
August 30, 2019
States are trying to change a system that keeps poor people in jail. The bail industry is blocking them.
The bail bonds industry survives largely off those who don't have the financial resources to post bail. Overwhelmingly, the service of a bail bondsman is their only way out of jail. Bail bond companies make money by charging a fee -- typically 10% of a defendant's bail amount. So if a defendant has bond set at $50,000, the bail bond company charges $5,000 to get them out. No matter what, the bonds company will collect that charge -- guilty or not guilty. Even if the charges are dropped. That is the price and process of release.
San Francisco Chronicle
March 6, 2019
Federal judge: SF’s cash bail system violates rights of poor defendants without protecting public
A wealthy citizen who is charged with a violent offense can be released from custody within a matter of hours, while an indigent arrestee can remain incarcerated for as many as five days.
The Sacramento Bee
February 20, 2018
California’s bail system doesn’t make us safer, attorney general says
Today’s bail system does not make you safer, because if you’ve got the money, and you’re dangerous, you still get out,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “You should not be allowed free if you are a harm to society.
The Sacramento Bee
March 23, 2018
Bail reform is overdue in California. Here’s a better, fairer, safer way
The reality is that those with money quickly can get out of jail, but those who are too poor to afford bail or the bond are left to remain incarcerated. During this time, they can lose their jobs and their families can suffer greatly. Personal wealth is often the only thing that determines who is free while awaiting trial and who remains in jail.
Los Angeles Times
January 29, 2018
Bail companies in California have conspired to keep premiums high, lawsuit alleges
The antitrust case, which the plaintiffs’ attorneys said could be the first of its kind in the country, alleges that the companies worked together since at least 2004 to fix prices and prevent competition in the market, discouraging bail agents from offering discounts or rebates in private meetings and messaging at industry conferences, and retaliating against those who refused.
Los Angeles Times
February 26, 2018
Why we need bail reform: California shouldn’t be requiring a payment for freedom
Pretrial release should be based on a suspect’s flight risk and danger to the public. We shouldn’t be requiring a payment for freedom. Isn’t that extortion? It sure seems un-American.
Los Angeles Times
October 4, 2019
Facing eradication, the bail industry gears up to mislead the public about its value
The system allows wealthy defendants to purchase their freedom by making bail; poor defendants are stuck in jail even on lesser charges because they can’t make bail that judges may deliberately set beyond their means. This system magnifies their disadvantages. Beyond being stuck in insalubrious quarters, jailed suspects have less opportunity to assist in their defense than released defendants. They can lose their jobs or income while they’re incarcerated, and face greater pressure to plead guilty even if they’re innocent.
Los Angeles Times
June 22, 2018
Editorial Board: Money bail punishes the poor and makes a mockery of California’s justice system
California’s bail system punishes the poverty-stricken criminal defendant by presenting this choice: Stay locked up for months pending trial and risk losing your job, your home and perhaps your children; take on crippling debt to pay a bondsman your nonrefundable bail; or plead guilty just to be able to go home sooner. Meanwhile, the wealthy can buy their freedom. The very words sound like a line from an old English ballad about the injustices of centuries past.
Los Angeles Times
January 18, 2019
Editorial Board: Don’t slow down plans to end money bail
The bill eliminates the unjust practice of allowing personal wealth to determine whether people will be locked up before trial or walk free.
Press Releases
October 21, 2020
Renowned Actor Danny Trejo Lends His Voice & Personal Story to YES on Prop 25 Campaign in New Statewide Ad
In a new “Yes on Prop 25” TV spot, Danny Trejo, the prolific actor of Machete fame, exposes how the unfair money bail system preys on the poor by trapping them behind bars if they can’t afford to post bail, even when they are accused of low-level offenses. The wealthy, on the other hand, can pay to get out no matter how serious the charges against them.
October 9, 2020
ICYMI: Sacramento Bee Editorial Board Endorses Prop. 25 to “reform California’s unfair and racist bail system”
Today, the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board endorsed Prop. 25 - joining all major California daily newspapers in calling for an end to the money bail system that rewards the wealthy while preying on the poor, and urging voters - who have already started to receive their ballots - to vote YES on Prop. 25.
September 30, 2020
ICYMI: Los Angeles Times Editorial Board Endorses Prop. 25 to “End Bail and the Poverty Penalty...a Stain on Our Justice System”
On Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board endorsed Proposition 25 - joining a coalition of seventeen other newspapers throughout the state in calling out the injustice of a money bail system that rewards the wealthy while preying on the poor, and urging voters to overturn that system in November by voting YES on Prop. 25.
September 21, 2020
ICYMI: San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board Endorses YES on Prop. 25 to #EndMoneyBail 
On Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board endorsed Proposition 25 - joining sixteen other newspapers throughout the state in urging Californians to vote YES on the measure this November. 
September 18, 2020
Long Beach City Council Endorses YES on Proposition 25 to End the Unfair Money Bail System
By a margin of two to one, the Long Beach City Council voted this week to endorse YES on Proposition 25, joining a progressive coalition focused on reforming California’s justice system. The measure, which goes before the voters in November, would bring about the end of predatory money bail, replacing it with a new system based on fairness and safety. 
August 24, 2020
ICYMI: 16 Newspapers Endorse the Yes on Prop 25 Campaign to #EndMoneyBail 
The editorial boards of major publications throughout California are joining the call to end the state’s predatory and unfair money bail system by endorsing a YES vote on Proposition 25 this year. A “yes” vote on Prop 25 would make California’s justice system safer, more fair, and less wasteful by replacing a system that determines who stays in jail based on the money in their pocket, with a system that examines each individual’s risk to public safety instead.
August 25, 2020
Governor Newsom Endorses YES on Prop 25 to Replace Predatory Money Bail with a System Based on Public Safety
California Governor Gavin Newsom today announced his support for a yes vote on Proposition 25, a ballot measure that - if passed - would enact SB 10, a law passed in 2018 that replaces the unfair money bail system with one that prioritizes public safety and justice for all. 
August 19, 2020
End Money Bail Message Takes Center Stage With Sen. Bernie Sanders at DNC
In his nationally televised Democratic National Convention speech Monday, Senator Bernie Sanders reminded voters that ending the predatory money bail system in America is a top priority for the Democratic Party, and especially for the Party’s presumptive nominee: Vice President Joe Biden. 
JULY 9, 2020
Long Beach City Councilmember Calls on Local Leaders to Join the Fight to #EndMoneyBail, Endorses YES on Prop 25
Rex Richardson, Long Beach City Councilmember representing the 9th District, today announced his support for the #YesOn25 campaign. A YES vote on Proposition 25 would end the predatory and unfair money bail system, replacing it with a new system based on an assessment of individual risk and protecting public safety.
August 27, 2020
California Public Defenders Urge Voters to End the Unfair Money Bail System by Voting YES on Proposition 25
Today the California Public Defenders Association announced its support for a yes vote on Proposition 25, the statewide ballot measure that would bring about the end of money bail and the predatory bail industry in California. The Public Defenders Association is a statewide organization of public defenders, private defense counsel, and investigators.
June 12, 2020
#EndMoneyBail Campaign Unveils New Online Ads Urging Californians to Vote “YES” on November Ballot to Protect Public Safety
Today a coalition of elected leaders, criminal justice reform advocates, and working families unveiled a new ad campaign to highlight California’s unfair, unsafe, and costly money bail system with two videos: Turner v. Humphreys and Safety Over Profits. The campaign urges Californians to vote YES on the November 2020 ballot to replace a money bail system based on profits, that criminalizes poverty and communities of color, with a system based on public safety.
November 17, 2019
California Democrats Vote “YES” to End Money Bail on 2020 Ballot
“The money bail system isn’t just unfair, it’s unjust,” said California Democratic Party Chair, Rusty Hicks. “We know our criminal justice system is fundamentally broken, but we’ll never be able to fix it as long as wealthy special interests like the money bail industry have a seat at the table. Ending money bail is an absolutely critical first step to building a system that doesn’t let rich families off the hook while driving other families further into poverty.” 

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