In 2018, our legislature approved, and Governor Brown signed into law SB-10 (Senate Bill 10). This bill essentially replaces cash bail, property bail, pretrial release, and surety bail with a county-based system. The new system will rely on probation departments to provide pretrial services. It will also use risk-assessment tools to gauge whether a person is a safety risk to the community. It will also give excessive power to judges and all of their faith in risk-assessment tools — tests that predict whether an individual is likely to offend again. Besides, they will provide free legal aid, at no cost to the defendant, but at a cost to the taxpayer. This new law would do away with bail as we know it today.
But How Does Bail Work In The First Place?
This link below of Frequently Asked Questions was created to help people better understand the current bail process and why this system must remain. To be clear, the privatized bail bond industry is governed by state regulations and by the Dept. of Insurance in the state in which it conducts business.
A Referendum To SB-10 Exists
This new law, replacing cash bail with a county-based bail system, was due to go into effect November 2020. Due to the tremendous outcry of civil rights organizations, crime victims’ groups, the bail bond industry, and law-enforcement, a referendum was filed and qualified.
On January 16, 2019, California Secretary of State reported the referendum qualified for the November 2020 ballot. If the voters approve of keeping the bail bonds industry a privatized industry, it will kill SB-10 in its tracks. Based on preliminary polls, bail is in good shape to win in 2020.
Why Should You Support The SB-10 Referendum?
People ask, “why would you support the referendum,” in keeping the bail bond industry privatized; and I tell them these simple facts:
- SB-10 would increase failures because there isn’t an accountability tool in place.
- Senate Bill 10 will be using a risk assessment tool. Unfortunately, the tool is ineffective and racially biased.
- Defendants will lose constitutional rights upon release. These rights include search and seizure rights (police can enter your home/place of work/vehicle without a warrant), forced DNA testing, forced GPS monitoring, etc.).
- SB 10 will reduce the number of defendants released. Doing so would adversely affect the jail population by overcrowding and use taxpayer dollars to house these defendants.
California has mirrored the pretrial release program in Washington, DC. When it first was established, they were releasing 50% of the jail population because of their inability to manage it. They now only release 25% (6,000 inmates a year) and at the cost of 66 million dollars to the taxpayer.
- SB-10 will cost the taxpayers billions of dollars each year.
- Bail Bonds, under the referendum, keeps the bail bond industry privatized and at no cost to the taxpayers.
The Goal Is A Proposition To Keep The Bail Industry Privatized
To ensure the legislature doesn’t undo the will of the people once the referendum passes, advocates to keep the bail bond industry privatized are currently working on a proposition. If approved, this proposition would guarantee surety bail, as defined in the US Constitution, and any attempt to do away with it would go back to the voters for their vote.