Fix Michigan’s Broken Bail Bond System:
The purpose of requiring bail when a person is charged with a crime is to encourage that individual not to flee justice and, if the alleged crime is violent and of a serious nature, to protect the public. The purpose should not be to acquire funds for the state or to disrupt potentially innocent persons’ lives. Although these bonds may be set low enough for many middle class people to afford, they are often impossible for poor people to pay, and are set neither because of concerns for safety nor flight risks.
Why is fixing our bail system important? Pretrial incarceration of Michigan residents can cause great harm to their lives and families. They often lose their jobs, which subsequently means loss of homes and even their children can be taken away. Even if convicted of a crime, they often are given sentences of less time than they have already spent waiting in jail for trial. This is not only disruptive to the lives of the charged individuals, but also to employers and landlords. Keeping these people in jail costs the taxpayers $150 million annually.
What is happening? Bail bond reform bills have been introduced into both the State Senate and House. These bills will fix our broken system by making cash bonds affordable, providing information to the courts on setting bonds, creating consistency among courts, and requiring to put bail determinations on the record. These bills need to be pushed out of committee and sent to the floor for a vote. Currently, the House Bail Bond Reform Package is in the State House Judiciary Committee.
What can we do? We can call the State House Representatives who are on the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to support the Bail Bond Reform Package and send it to the floor for a vote.
The following is a list of committee members who have not sponsored the bill:
Graham Filler (R) Committee Chair, 93rd District: 517-373-1778
Diana Farrington (R) 30th District: 517-373-7768
Daire Rendon (R) 103rd District: 517-373-3817
Ryan Berman (R) 39th District: 517-373-1799
Douglas Wozniak (R) 36th District: 517-373-0843
Vanessa Guerra (D) 95th District: 517-373-0152
Brian Elder (D) 96th District: 517-373-0158
Kyra Bolden (D) 35th District: 517-373-1788
Call to State Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee:
Hello, I’m a Michigan voter and I want to encourage Representative _________to support the Bail Bond Reform Package. The cost to taxpayers and the disruption to the lives of potentially innocent men and women speak to the need for bail reform. This also affects the poor and people of color disproportionately. Please support and send this bill to the House floor for a vote.
Information provided by Susan Gannon of Michigan Resistance. For more information, contact: