This morning the ACLU of Ohio delivered hundreds of petitions to Judge John J. Russo from residents in Northeast Ohio who support expedited bail reform policies in Cuyahoga County. The petition delivery followed the release of a report from the Cuyahoga County task force on bail, which was released on Friday, March 16.
When you think of the term “bail” do you tend to visualize bond agents, bounty hunters, and flashing neon signs with names like ABC Bonds, A-1 Bonds, EZ Bonds? That’s what we thought.
The reason you likely think this way is because that’s what you’ve been taught to think by what you’ve seen or heard about the American bail process.
Historically, a judge set bail based on a single consideration: whether a person would reappear in court to answer for the alleged crime. It wasn’t until later in the 20th century that nationwide reforms allowed judges to consider public safety as a reason to deny bail.
“On Wednesday, June 14th, Sheriff Jim Neil declared a state of emergency at the Hamilton County Justice Center due to jail overcrowding. The ACLU of Ohio has taken bail reform head on, and it is rapidly becoming one of our main criminal justice focus areas.