In April of 2020, California instituted what was known as the “Emergency Bail Schedule,” which set bail at zero dollars for all but the most violent offenses. This was ostensibly done in response to the pandemic, answering claims that lower-income people were being disproportionately endangered by the coronavirus if they were unable to afford bail. The state rescinded the $0 bail order after a couple of months, but many individual counties kept the policy in place. In Yolo County, located in the Sacramento Valley, the policy was rescinded in June of 2021. But the District Attorney there has been crunching the numbers and he released the results yesterday. It turns out that in his county, between 2020 and 2021, fully 70% of people released with zero bail went on to commit additional crimes after their release, including some who were charged with armed robbery and murder. Jeff Reisig concluded that there is “no rational public safety-related basis” for having this zero-bail policy in place, particularly in the post-pandemic era. (Fox News)
A California district attorney has found that more than 70% of criminal suspects released on $0 bail between 2020 and 2021 in his county committed new crimes.
The California Judicial Council in April 2020 implemented the statewide Emergency Bail Schedule, or $0 bail, which supporters say makes the criminal justice system more fair for those who cannot afford to get released.
“When over 70% of the people released under mandated $0 bail policies go on to commit additional crime(s), including violent offenses such as robbery and murder, there is simply no rational public safety-related basis to continue such a practice post-pandemic, especially in light of the increasing violent crime rates across California,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said in a Monday statement.
How many times do people have to repeatedly hit themselves in the head with a two-by-four before they realize that they’re starting to get a headache? We’ve seen this over and over again in city after city. Crime rates have been steadily increasing ever since the BLM riots of 2020 and these so-called “bail reform” policies are feeding this trend.
In Yolo County, 595 individuals were released on $0 bail during the period in question. Of those, 420 (70.6%) were rearrested for new crimes. 123 (20%) were arrested for violent crimes. These included murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, carjacking and domestic violence. So not only did a significant majority display recidivism, but fully one in five committed violent crimes.
The entire concept of bail exists for a reason. It provides an incentive for offenders to keep their noses clean while awaiting trial. Wealthier suspects, typically involved in more white-collar crime, have a significant motivation to show up for their trials and not flee the state. Less affluent criminals may realize that an additional charge of skipping bail could result in an even longer stretch behind bars. Or at least they might have done so previously, before the entire country apparently lost its collective mind.
One of the repeated arguments made by bail reform advocates, including those in California has been that the elimination of cash bail “helps criminal suspects reenter society.” But that claim relies on the assumption that the suspect actually has any intention or desire to reenter society. If someone is truly driven by such a desire they are unlikely to skip bail to begin with or commit new crimes while awaiting trial. For all the rest of the criminals who have no interest in reforming themselves, eliminating cash bail only provides them a faster path back to the streets so they can get on with their next crime.
This study out of Yolo County should make that reality all the more clear. A seventy percent recidivism rate is patently ridiculous. How many of those 123 victims of violent crimes might have been spared if the perpetrators had still been behind bars because they couldn’t make bail? As usual, liberal “reformers” care more about the criminals than they do the victims. And particularly in our larger cities, the majority of those victims wind up being Black or Hispanic. This is simply insanity on display.