Cash Bail Keeps Poor People in Jail, But Allows Wealthier People to Purchase Freedom. States Must Eliminate It!

A new Illinois law, which abolishes cash bail in the state, has finally taken effect! When someone is arrested, before they have been found guilty or innocent, that person can be released as they await trial if they can pay cash bail. This means that defendants without financial means have to remain locked up, while their wealthier counterparts can walk free. It's discriminatory, inhumane, and just plain wrong.

Even though Republicans love fear mongering about crime and punishment, the evidence is clear: cash bail doesn't protect anyone, it only works to punish communities of color and poor people. This Illinois law is an amazing victory for civil rights, and a step towards strengthening and protecting our communities from harm.

Now, it's time for the state of Louisiana to follow in Illinois' footsteps.

Sign now to tell Louisiana legislators: stand on the right side of history! End cash bail in the state!

The state of Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world -- higher than other democracy or U.S. state. And estimates suggest nearly 60% of all people in pretrial detention are there because they can't afford bail. Eliminating bail would dramatically reduce the people who are sitting in jail exclusively because they can't afford to get out.

Pretrial detention, or what happens when someone can't make cash bail, has horrifying effects on people. These defendants "four times more likely to be sentenced to prison than defendants released prior to trial." Pretrial detention can also be incredibly psychologically damaging, often resulting in devastating mental health outcomes.

Cash bail makes our communities less safe, not more safe. Often, families and community members have to pool vital money and resources together to pay bail for someone they love who was charged with a crime, money that could otherwise go toward food, education, or housing. This, in turn, can literally perpetuate cycles of crime, as people get desperate to secure money for bare survival necessities.

It is time for Louisiana to finally eliminate the racist and ineffective cash bail system! Sign the petition now to put pressure on Louisian legislators!
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