Bail Reform Will Make Criminal Justice System Worse, Says Former Chair of Board of Prison Terms

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Senate Bill 10 (Hertzberg), a bill to eliminate the current money bail system, passed both houses of the Legislature and is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his consideration. Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), who served as Chair of the Board of Prison Terms, issued the following statement:

“This is a stay-of-out jail card. 

“The current bail system serves as an incentive for those accused of a crime to appear before a judge. Without a bail system and the fear of being tracked down by a bail bondsman, what is the motivation for anyone to appear in court? And what standard will be used to determine whether the accused is a flight risk?

“This measure, if signed into law, will result in a worse system where victims and their loved ones will not get the justice they deserve.

“Criminals will thumb their noses and dismiss court orders. With our criminal justice system already weakened by AB 109, Proposition 47 and Proposition 57, this bill will further deteriorate our public safety.

“With parole supervision virtually eliminated, bail agents are the only boots-on-the- ground supervision for most convicted felons.

“Under realignment reform, burglars receive nothing but a notice to appear, with little to no consequences if they do not show up in court.

“The effect is no justice, and criminals are free to continue victimization.”