Cleveland artist Joe Sharp
Were you arrested for a crime? If you want to get out of jail before your trial, you will likely need to pay cash. This has created a two-tier system of justice where wealthier people accused of a crime go free while poorer people accused of the same crime remain incarcerated. Both people are legally innocent because they haven’t been proven guilty, yet one is allowed to go home while the other remains behind bars. This can lead to:
- Loss of job or housing,
- Higher rates of recidivism,
- Jail overcrowding,
- Harms to a person’s physical and mental health,
- Incarceration of innocent individuals, and
- Wrongful convictions stemming from the desire to take a plea deal to secure one’s release.
Holding poor people in jail simply because they cannot pay for their release is immoral, unfair, and unjust. To put it simply, it’s just plain wrong!
Particularly appalling is the fact that communities of color are disproportionately harmed by these practices. The ACLU of Ohio is committed to raising awareness of the harms caused by money bail, and urging lawmakers, judges, and others to implement fair reforms.
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