Just the Facts

Contributed by Olga Vanucci.

On the subject of bail…

  • California is the first state in the nation to abolish bail for suspects awaiting trial.  It can be done…
  • In its first year, New Jersey’s criminal justice system overhaul reduced the number of people charged with minor crimes that were locked up until trial because they couldn’t post bail by 20 percent.
  • In Philadelphia, District Attorney Larry Krasner announced that his office would no longer seek monetary bails for a slew of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.
  • Pennsylvania lags behind other states in its approach to bail. It was given a D grade last year from the Pretrial Justice Institute.
  • Only 10% of people in a St. Louis Public Defender’s study were able to post their own bond immediately and without assistance.

Retaining or restoring voting rights …

  • Maine and Vermont are the only 2 states that retain voting rights for those in prison for a felony conviction.  It can be done…
  • In Pennsylvania, voting rights are restored automatically when a person leaves prison, while the person may still be on parole or probation.  
  • In New Jersey, voting rights are only restored once a person is no longer on parole or probation, and the person must re-register to vote.  
  • New Jersey denies the right to vote to nearly 100,000 people because of a conviction.  And although black people make up 15% of New Jersey’s overall population, they represent more than half of those who have lost their voting rights as the result of a criminal conviction.
  • 4,537,100 people were on parole or probation in the U.S. in 2016.

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