Zero-bail policy reinstated in Los Angeles County - KTLA

People arrested for nonviolent, low-level offenses in Los Angeles County will not be forced to post bail as a preliminary injunction takes effect Wednesday.

Last week, a Superior Court judge issued the injunction in a class-action lawsuit brought by those who argue the current bail system inherently favors the wealthy.

Six plaintiffs claim they suffered negative consequences because they could not afford bail, including missed work, separation from their families and lapsed medical care.

In his 64-page decision, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Riff explained why he sided with the plaintiffs.

“Enforcing the secured money bail schedules against poor people who are detained in jail solely for the reason of their poverty is a clear, pervasive, and serious constitutional violation,” Riff said. “Pretrial detention of presumptively innocent people based upon their poverty is neither intended nor permitted to operate as a form of punishment, but that is, plaintiffs say, what is actually happening every day.”

The injunction essentially reinstates a policy that was first implemented during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce overcrowding in jails.

Those arrested for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses “would be released on their recognizance or subject to non-monetary conditions,” [L.A. County Sheriff’s] Department said.

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Locations: Los Angeles, CA 

Organizations: Los Angeles Sheriff Department 

People: Lawrence Riff 

Tags: Prison Crime 

Type: Headlines