Stop This Unjust Tax on the Poor. End Cash Bail Today!

When people are accused of a crime, they often spend extraordinary amounts of time in jail without even having been convicted. While we like to believe that we all are seen as innocent until proven guilty, for the many Coloradans who cannot afford their bail, spending time behind bars is something that can happen even when you are guilt-free.

Our system of cash bail forces poorer people to spend more time in jail than their wealthier counterparts, for no other reason than that they are poor. This is not how a democracy should operate.

While the Eighth Amendment stipulates that "no excessive bail shall be required", the national median felony bail is $10,000 — an extraordinary amount when you consider that 60 percent of Americans could not cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, such as an emergency room visit or car repair.

This has led to a growing number of people sitting behind bars each year. In fact, 95 percent of the growth in jail populations from 2000 to 2014 was in the jailing of people awaiting trial. Needlessly incarcerating Coloradans increases recidivism rates, and can cost those confined behind bars their jobs and housing opportunities.

Simply put, cash bail is a tax on being poor. And it is a tax that is costing our country millions of dollars in lost opportunities for those accused, and money spent to house them.

Sign and tell our legislators to end cash bail today, and stop this unfair and unjust tax on the poor in our state.
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