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Bill Introduced in United States Senate to Reform Bail System

Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, and Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, co-sponsored the "Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017," which was introduced into Congress on July 20, 2017. 
 
The purpose of the bill is to encourage states to reform the criminal justice system by replacing the use of money bail. Under the bill, states would receive grants for both replacing the use of money bail as a condition of release and implementing a National Pretrial Reporting Program to collect data. The bill specifies that there should be a presumption of release, and that money bail should be replaced with pretrial assessments measuring the risk of flight and criminal conduct of an individual defendant. 
 
Harris and Paul wrote a joint op-ed on their bill, stating, "Whether someone stays in jail or not is far too often determined by wealth or social connections, even though just a few days behind bars can cost people their job, home, custody of their children — or their life." The op-ed estimates "that bail reform could save American taxpayers roughly $78 billion a year." 

Read the text of the bill here, and Harris's and Paul's op-ed here.


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