National fund starting to help bail defendants out of jail

The Associated Press - November 13, 2017 4:33 pm

NEW YORK (AP) – A national effort is launching that aims to help low-income defendants get out of jail by bailing them out as their criminal cases progress through the courts.

The Bail Project grew out of an effort in New York called the Bronx Freedom Fund, which paid bail for people who otherwise would be jailed. Robin Steinberg is running the project and says millions of dollars has been raised.

The project will launch in January in Tulsa and St. Louis. It will grow to include a total of 40 different cities, using a $16 million revolving fund and aims to bail out 160,000 over the next five years.

The rules vary state by state, but a judge sets bail by weighing factors that include the risk of fleeing and the safety of community. Bail is returned at the end of trial, minus processing fees in some states.

 

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