The Problem with Cash Bail

In Dauphin County your ability to even mount a proper defense is dependent upon your access to money. Persons who cannot afford to pay bail will be transferred from police custody and detained in a jail for weeks before appearing before a judge to have their case heard. During this time, they cannot earn income, see to the needs of their family and seek adequate defense. Someone with the funds to afford bail will remain free over this same period of time. Legally, all individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in the legal system. The person who has been arrested and does not have money does not enjoy the benefits of this legal distinction.

This system strips people who are poor of their presumption of innocence and causes great economic and psychological harm to them and their families. Justice is being denied in this way to thousands of people every year in Dauphin County.