While members of the left have traditionally been the ones speaking out against over-incarceration, there is a growing consensus among modern conservatives that current use of jails -- especially with regards to pretrial practices -- is at odds with their core principles: limited government and individual liberty.
The majority of jurisdictions in the U.S. rely on bond schedules, which specifies monetary amounts accused persons must pay to be released pretrial, based on the charges they face. Many defendants on low-level charges who cannot afford bail plead guilty through negotiations before trial, solely in order to be released from jail.
We expect our criminal justice system to be fair and effective. It's part of our national DNA to want equal treatment and to get the job done. But in pretrial justice -- the time between when a person is arrested and when the charges are resolved -- the basic principles we hold dear are too often undermined by our use of cash bail.
Decision Points: Disproportionate Pretrial Detention of Blacks and Latinos Drives Mass Incarceration
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