The Future of Cash Bail in California

California is on the cutting edge of criminal justice reforms that aim to reduce incarceration while protecting public safety. On June 17, 2021, CPL hosted a panel discussion to better understand the impact of recent changes to cash bail in California.

Event overview: In the 2020 election, Californians voted down a proposition to eliminate cash bail. Since then, the state supreme court has upheld the Humphrey decision, which says that judges need to take into account a defendant’s ability to pay when setting bail. During this presentation, the panel discusses the implications of the Humphrey decision for defendants, what we’ve learned from San Francisco’s implementation of Humphrey since January 2018, and the challenges that counties may face in implementing the decision. Steven Raphael, Professor and James D. Marver Chair in Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and a faculty affiliate at the California Policy Lab, introduced the panelists while Dr. Johanna Lacoe, Research Director at the California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley, moderated the panel. 

The panel included:

Marshall Khine, Chief of the Criminal Division, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

Insha Rahman, Vice President, Advocacy & Partnerships, Vera Institute of Justice

Sandra Susan Smith, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice, Harvard Kennedy School

The California Policy Lab has released research on a number of topics related to criminal justice reform in California, including bail reform, diversion programs, RIPA, criminal record clearance, and more. Click here to see some of our current criminal justice reform projects.

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