Why fixing the US bail system is tricky Medicaid, explained: why it's worse 2 days ago   06:22

Share
Vox
Vox
Cash bail is great…if you can pay for it.

Become a member of the Vox Video Lab! https://www.vox.com/join

Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO

Lawmakers, activists, and reformers want to end cash bail, the practice of requiring a defendant to pay money to be released from jail before trial.

Mounting evidence has shown that cash bail unfairly affects low-income minorities who don’t have the money to pay for release before their trial. As a result, defendants languish in jail while waiting for court dates.

While in jail, many of them lose their jobs, housing, and parental rights, all of which can weaken their community network, erode domestic relationships, and cost the government money to keep them in jail.

Defenders of cash bail claim it is an effective mechanism for keeping violent criminals in jail. Despite their efforts to protect the status quo, several states have pursued bail reform. These states model their new systems on a pretrial risk assessment system. Risk assessments use algorithms to analyze data about a defendant and make recommendations for their pretrial release.

The District of Columbia has used risk assessments since the early 1990s with success. But many reform activists are concerned that when cash bail is replaced with risk assessments, courts are using another unjust — and potentially more biased — pretrial release mechanism.

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE
Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o
Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H
MailFootballSoccer

Comments 2203 Comments

Mark W. Schumann
So let's say you're arrested and your prior convictions make a risk assessment unfavorable, even if those prior convictions were racially biased in any way. So you don't get released for free, as the video discusses around 4:38.

What if you could pay cash bail *anyway*? That's not ideal, and it's not what abolishing cash bail looks like, but it doesn't leave any defendants worse off than before the reform. In other words, what if we kept the cash bail system in place as it is, but also start doing the suggested risk assessments and let the great majority of defendants await trial on the outside without paying?

The other thing I wonder about: Is it valid to use prior convictions as a measurement of likelihood to skip trial? Has anyone researched the correlation or is that a "hunch" in its own right?
Vivian Smith
Go and watch ‘13th’ on Netflix
Javier Benez
@3:25
At there own discretion...objective standard instead of just a hunch
Lolololol
John Varnum
You don't break down actual crimes committed, you just give an example of "open container law". However most bail situations already use risk in the matrix.
naapalm82
Umm. Bail bonds are a thing?
ThatsSOJohn
Jail is one of those things that are just scary for a minority
coco bean
I see now thank you for explaining
Dave Coons
Your hypothetical person who was arrested for open container (a crime where I wager the vast majority are guilty. It's not like you need CSI) and then for shoplifting (similar conviction rate I wager) is not exactly sympathetic.
ZImpresive
LAND OF THE FREE WOOOOO
*opens beer*
"stop right there criminal scum"
WhatFearFears
I have a solution...







Don't commit crimes.
Doopliss
Risk Assessments are not perfect, but is a better alternative to wealth dependent bails.
Lance Coe
Instead of a criminal assessment use a financial assessment so people who can't afford can get their bail amount reduced accordingly.
Greg Armstrong
Britain does have the same problems. Yes we have some private prisons but our judges are not elected like they are in the US. Our judges don’t have allegiances other than upholding the law.
Jose Picasso
That doesn’t make any sense why go back to there drinking and drugs and stalling even if there 🤓 emotional and mental or crazy break that forces and suck up new good positive categories in there mind it will heart but you’ll like it and later you’ll love it there open door await for you guys go read a book or volunteer or school or programs activity programs or be creative or others citizens voters be creative too to help persons coming out of jail or prions stop being selfish and lazy that goes for people coming out of jail and prison.
swng
Can't the bail amount be determined as a factor or your income (and other factors)?
Diogo Nunes
Lest just say that the USA system of government, law, etc. Is just filled with holes, if you just compare it with the European system you can see there's no doubt that the European one is WAYYYYYY better. Just an example, since when should the president of a democratic (you know, where the people are supposed to make the law in a way) country be able to shut down the parliament causing all public institutions to shut down just because the president doesn't agree with the decision of the parliament. Is that even a democratic system, cause when the president is the only one making laws, the system is more a dictatorship than anything.
Don't Die
For non-violent crimes you should not go to jail you should just appear to court unless your flight risk
Corkmanager
Here is a solution reduce the cash bail
HaloToday
How about trying not to put yourself in a situation where you don’t have to go to jail?? Play stupid games and u win stupid prizes......
Cj Campos
Never move here, everything’s controlled by greed.
Add Reply

Medicaid, explained: why it's worse Why fixing the US bail system is tricky 2 days ago   11:02

Share
Vox
Where you live could mean the difference between life and death.

Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

Check out our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE
Follow Vox on Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H
Or on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o

Matthew is a Medicaid recipient with a life threatening illness. He is one of 70 million Americans who depends on this program. Medicaid was passed in the mid-1960s after decades of fights over the role of government in medical care. FDR and Truman fought for healthcare, but Johnson wound up passing this landmark legislation. Around this same time, developed nations around the world passed universal health programs. The US got Medicaid.

Related Videos