ACLU of California Changes Position to Oppose Bail Reform Legislation

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SACRAMENTO – Today, the Executive Directors of the ACLU California affiliates announced a change to the ACLU’s position on Senate Bill 10, the California Bail Reform Act. 

The following statement can be jointly attributed to the three Executive Directors of the California ACLU affiliates: Abdi Soltani (Northern California), Hector Villagra (Southern California), and Norma Chávez Peterson (San Diego & Imperial Counties):

After further serious consideration, the ACLU of California has changed its position on the recently-amended SB 10 to oppose. As much as we would welcome an end to the predatory lending practices of the for-profit bail industry, SB 10 cannot promise a system with a substantial reduction in pretrial detention. Neither can SB 10 provide sufficient due process nor adequately protect against racial biases and disparities that permeate our justice system.

Unfortunately, this amended version of SB 10 is not the model for pretrial justice and racial equity that the ACLU of California envisioned, worked for, and remains determined to achieve. We oppose the bill because it seeks to replace the current deeply-flawed system with an overly broad presumption of preventative detention. This falls short of critical bail reform goals and compromises our fundamental values of due process and racial justice.

We nevertheless reiterate our commitment to working with the state legislature, and our partners and allies to create a strong, fair justice system for the benefit and wellbeing of all Californians.

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