Mama Says: Prop. 25 Isn’t Good News For Criminal Justice System

If passed, Proposition 25 ends the constitutional right to choose bail (or one of the other pre-trial release programs) by replacing the bail system with computer algorithms. Under Prop. 25, those computer algorithms will determine who qualifies for pre-trial release. In all, Proposition 25 is a bad idea for California.

“As a retired Superior Court judge, I fear Prop. 25 is a radical experiment, eliminating the surest, quickest option for people to get out of jail before trial and replacing it with a system even more discriminatory towards African-Americans, Lations, and other minorities.” – Quentin Kopp (The Mercury News)

How Does Prop. 25 Change The Bail Industry?

Prop. 25 plans to replace the entirety of the bail industry with reliance on computer algorithm-based “risk assessment” tools. These tools rely on computers using an algorithm to determine whether the system should release a defendant before their trial. Moreover, under this new system, judges will have little power over a defendant’s pre-trial release.

Have Any Other States Tried To Eliminate The Bail Industry?

Besides Prop. 25 here in California, New Jersey tried eliminating bail in their state. Unfortunately, New Jersey’s efforts have only made the situation worse. By removing the right to bail from their legal system, many previously supporting experts and lawmakers have decided that, while good on paper, the computer-based pre-trial assessments do far more harm than good.

“Prop. 25 may sound like a good idea in theory, but it only enhances, not reduces, any racial bias in the criminal justice system while embracing an unproven system that undermines our courts.” – Quentin Kopp (The Mercury News)