Criminalizing Poverty Blog


OPD's Criminalizing Poverty Blog

News and articles related to the criminalization of poverty. For more, please go to our "resources" page.

Leading Defense Orgs Support Pretrial Risk Assessments

The American Council of Chief Defenders, Gideon's Promise, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Association for Public Defense, and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association released a joint statement today that "strongly endorses and calls for the use of validated pretrial risk assessment in all jurisdictions, as a necessary component of a fair pretrial release system that reduces unnecessary detention and eliminates racial bias."

Fight Against Money Bail Has Unlikely Allies

The Harris County Sheriff and a local judge both testified on behalf of the criminal defendants bringing a class-action suit against Harris County, Texas for its use of money bail.  

"'When most of the people in my jail are there because they can’t afford to bond out, and when those people are disproportionately black and Hispanic, that’s not a rational system,' said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, who was elected after the case was filed."

Read more here.

Nationally Broadcast Ohio Town-Hall Event Focused on Excessive Fines, Fees, and Bail

In December 2016, PBS aired two episodes of The Tavis Smiley Show which consisted of a town hall-style meeting, featuring the participation of four current or former Ohio judges.  The town hall was designed to bring awareness to issues surrounding the imposition and collection of fines and fees, and also the problems caused by current approaches to pretrial bail.