ACLU of Northern California Statement on Prop. 25

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SAN FRANCISCO — The ACLU of Northern California has issued the following statement regarding its neutral position on Prop. 25: 

The ACLU of Northern California is neutral on Prop. 25, which asks voters to uphold or repeal Senate Bill 10. SB 10 is deeply flawed. Although it would eliminate the predatory commercial bail industry, it would replace it with a risk assessment-based system that perpetuates racial disparities in pretrial detention, and it would grant judges and pretrial service agencies wide discretion to detain broad categories of people.

Although we sponsored the original SB 10 legislation with the goal of substantially decreasing pretrial detention and eliminating the predatory commercial bail industry in California, the bill was amended so significantly during the legislative process that it no longer aligned with our goals and values. For this reason, we ultimately opposed SB 10 in its final form in the Legislature.

However, due to legal and political reasons, the repeal of SB 10 could make it much more difficult to advance legislation in the future that would eliminate commercial bail and build an equitable statewide pretrial system that respects the rights and dignity of people accused of crimes. 

We are committed to dramatically reducing the number of people held in pretrial detention, eliminating racism in pretrial decision-making, ensuring a fair and supportive pretrial process, and eliminating the exploitative and abusive commercial bail industry that preys on low-income people and people of color.

Prop. 25, whether it passes or fails, will not create a pretrial system that is in line with these goals and values for our communities. The ACLU of Northern California is committed to the goal of transforming our system of pretrial justice to uphold the principles of equality and due process.

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