Los Angeles County Takes First Step to End Money Bail, Keep Communities Safe

Grounded in extensive research, new policy rightfully shifts away from money bail in favor of public safety.


October 12, 2023

Contact: Trip Eggert | teggert@vera.org | (212) 376-3157, ext. 1033

Regarding the Los Angeles Superior Court’s implementation of a new bail system known as Pre-Arraignment Release Protocols (PARP), Michelle Parris, director of Vera California, a local initiative of the Vera Institute of Justice, issued the following statement:

“On October 1st, Los Angeles County implemented a new bail policy, taking an essential first step toward safety, justice, and the end of a two-tiered criminal legal system where the rich can buy their freedom while the poor languish in jail.

“We have long known that money bail does not keep us safe. It undermines fairness and justice, disproportionately harms Black, Latino, and poor people, and exacerbates cycles of poverty. On any given day, there are more than 6,000 people in our jails—not because they are a danger to the community, but largely because of an inability to pay bail. We can see across this county that this system has not worked for the people of Los Angeles and that our communities deserve a better approach to public safety.

“Yet opponents of this policy have been working hard to fearmonger and misinform the public. They want us to be afraid—to believe that even modest bail reform will usher in a drastic increase in violent crime, smash-and-grabs, and the deterioration of our county. They are wrong, and their scare tactics should have no role in driving policy.

“The PARP policy builds on years of similar bail policies and extensive research that demonstrates bail reform is good for public safety. The Los Angeles Police Department’s own data showed both violent crime and property crime in Los Angeles dropped or remained effectively unchanged when a similar policy was in place. In Harris County, Texas, where courts issued a standing order in 2019 for most people charged with misdemeanors to be released without money bond, an independent federal monitor found no following increase in rearrest rates. In Kentucky, where the state Supreme Court issued statewide orders similar to the PARP policy, data from tens of thousands of cases showed no compromise of public safety.

“For the safety of our county and justice in our criminal legal system, Los Angeles must heed years of evidence and move forward in implementing this new bail policy. The success of PARP hinges on the close monitoring of implementation. We must guard the presumption of innocence and prioritize the safe release of our neighbors back to our communities instead of reverting to the previous money bail system that failed us for so long.”


About the Vera Institute of Justice: The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and policy experts working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit vera.org.

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