3/20/17- JOTF Action Alert! Urge Your Senator to Vote RED on SB 983!
SENATE BILL 983 THREATENS BAIL REFORM–
Contact your Senator and urge them to vote RED on SB 983!
The Senate is preparing to vote on Senate Bill 983. Even as amended, SB 983 would undo the unanimous ruling by the Court of Appeals of Maryland that says defendants can’t be held in jail simply because they’re too poor to afford bail. Allowing the Maryland Court of Appeals rule to take effect is necessary to securing the first major step in reforming our state pretrial system. SB 983 was introduced and supported by the bail bonds industry to ensure that the industry remains profitable. This legislation would dismantle this landmark court ruling that takes effect in July 2017.
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Any time spent in jail – even short jail stays – can cost families their household income for months: rent is late, the car note is unpaid, groceries are foregone, and jobs are lost. This creates a domino effect for families who are already in poverty; it jeopardizes their ability to meet basic needs and threatens their very survival. Unfortunately, these challenges are experienced by the thousands of Marylanders that interact with our state pretrial system. Maryland communities were charged more than $256 million in non-refundable corporate bail bond premiums from 2011 to 2015. More than $75 million of these premiums were in cases that were resolved without any finding of wrongdoing. The heavy reliance on money bail in Maryland enables the corporate bail bond industry to extract tens of millions of dollars from Maryland’s poorest zip codes.
There’s still time, but we need your voice!
Take a moment and contact your Senator to urge them to vote RED on Senate Bill 983!
For more information on pretrial reform efforts in Annapolis, please contact Caryn York.