• Amelia Hayes

High-level talks could result in the release of 500 inmates from Cuyahoga County Jail, sources say

While I am happy to see this discussion happening, we need to do more and here's why:

The proposed special court docket does nothing to address the bigger issue of BAIL REFORM.

"The docket would speed up the cases of nonviolent inmates held in jail on 4th & 5th degree felonies or inmates who can't pay $2,500 or less."

What this will likely mean: MORE DEFENDANTS PLEADING GUILTY TO FELONY CHARGES TO GET OUT OF JAIL. This is simply not the solution.

Chief Public Defender Mark Stanton is quoted advocating for the Prosecutor's Office to re-negotiate bonds and for Judges to get on board. YES YES YES.

When a person is locked up unnecessarily, his or her life can unravel in the matter of a day or two. Loss of job, housing, and custody of children are all REAL collateral consequences. Additionally, studies have shown that the first three days in jail are when people are most likely to suffer physical assaults and sexual violence.

Freedom from pre-trial detention empowers a defendant to fight for his or her day in court. It helps to restore the presumption of innocence and bring us closer towards an end to mass incarceration.

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