Our criminal justice system is supposed to be based on a fundamental premise: “innocent until proven guilty.” In reality, this basic right is not afforded to millions of low-income Californians, particularly those in communities of color.
At the heart of this injustice is our money bail system. It results in untold numbers of low-income Californians having to languish in jail, sometimes for years, while they await their day in court — simply because they can’t afford to post bail or bond.
It’s blatantly unfair. It effectively means wealthy people who can afford bail are presumed innocent and are free to go home to their families while low-income defendants, particularly Black and brown people, must stay locked up and are effectively guilty until proven innocent.
For the full op-ed, click here.