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Oversight Hearing Highlights Need for Pre-Trial Adjustments

Jun 9, 2022 by AFP

Legislative changes to cash bail system would benefit families, workforce

LANSING, Mich. — Members of the Michigan House Oversight Committee heard testimony on the state’s pretrial detention and release system this morning. Michiganders from across the state told personal stories about how the court’s method of assigning cash bail has impacted their personal and professional lives.

Americans for Prosperity – Michigan policy director Diana Rademacher had this to say:
Justice is never served by taking people who have made low level mistakes and do not pose a threat to their community out of their jobs and away from their families while they await trial simply because they cannot afford a few hundred dollars for their freedom.

It is encouraging to see our elected leaders taking time to hear from real Michiganders whose experiences reinforce what we already know: our cash bail system disproportionately impacts people who are poor without increasing public safety. We must do a better job of respecting the due process rights of our friends and neighbors; it’s good for families, it’s good for communities, it’s good for business and it’s the right thing to do.

An eight-bill package of bills introduced last year, HB 5436 – 5443, would make adjustments to Michigan’s pre-trial detention and release policies so that cash bail is assigned only in cases where the alleged offender poses a risk to public safety or a high likelihood of fleeing justice. The bills are sponsored by a bipartisan group of legislators including Representative Andrew Fink (R-Hillsdale). The package awaits a hearing in the house judiciary committee.