Judges and the Cash Bail Rules That They're Breaking
There are many public policies that have fed mass incarceration in Pennsylvania and in this country, from extreme sentencing to overpolicing to duplicate offenses that criminalize a single act. One of those policy choices is the commonwealth’s overuse of cash bail. On any given day, there are more than 30,000 people in Pennsylvania’s county jails. A majority of them have been accused but not convicted of a crime. And many of them are only in jail because they’ve been ordered to post cash bail but don’t have the money to pay it.
On this episode, we hear from ACLU-PA's Jessica Li, our criminal justice investigator, and Nyssa Taylor, ACLU-PA’s criminal justice strategic litigation and policy counsel. Jess talks about the findings and recommendations of our report Broken Rules: How Pennsylvania Courts Use Cash Bail to Incarcerate People Before Trial, and Nyssa tells us more about why we sued several magisterial district judges in Lancaster County for their cash bail practices.