500 signatures reached
To: Judges Dugan and Fox; District Attorney Krasner; Philadelphia Mayor and City Council
End Money Bail and Pretrial Incarceration in Philadelphia Now!
Every day, Philadelphia community members charged with a crime are held in city jails, innocent until proven guilty, on a bail that they can't afford. While our courts and District Attorney have taken important initial steps to start to release more people pretrial, bail is set every day in our courts for almost half of people charged, with one in four of those bails over $50,000. And most folks charged with a crime are poor - not able to afford a few hundred, let alone thousands of dollars.
Judges Dugan, Fox, and all the judges and magistrates of the First Judicial District: and DA Larry Krasner: pretrial detention should be extremely rare. We demand you stop holding accused Philadelphians on cash bails they cannot afford, and provide every person detained pretrial a full hearing, with an attorney, where they can advocate for their pretrial freedom.
Why is this important?
The hundreds of people bailed out by our community bail funds and community organizations who have returned to their homes and families show that when you bail people out and bring people home, even if they are charged with an act of violence, the vast majority of them aren't re-arrested and come back to court, get to keep working and raising their families, and contribute to their community and our economy.
Far too many people are held in our jails out of fear accused people won't return to court or will cause harm - but our local numbers and national statistics show otherwise.
We won't be able to close more jails, save millions more dollars, and invest our precious tax dollars in community resources rather than months or years of incarceration unless we stop setting bails on our neighbors in the poorest big city in America.
How it will be delivered
We will both announce it at our forum on MLK day in front of the above-mentioned targets, and deliver in person at working group meetings.