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File #: 180032    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 1/25/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 2/1/2018
Title: Encouraging the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania to institute internal policies that reduce reliance on cash bail; and further calling on the Pennsylvania State Legislature and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to revise state laws and procedure codes governing bail to allow for the elimination of cash bail statewide, or to provide for an exemption in the law for cities of the first class.
Sponsors: Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Domb
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 18003200.pdf, 2. Signature18003200.pdf
Title
Encouraging the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania to institute internal policies that reduce reliance on cash bail; and further calling on the Pennsylvania State Legislature and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to revise state laws and procedure codes governing bail to allow for the elimination of cash bail statewide, or to provide for an exemption in the law for cities of the first class.

Body
WHEREAS, The City of Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of incarceration of any urban area in the United States and the use of monetary bail, along with the widespread use of detainers, contributes to the overcrowding of our City's jails; and

WHEREAS, Philadelphia criminal justice agencies, including the First Judicial District, District Attorney's Office, and the Defender Association of Philadelphia, through the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, have made significant progress in reducing the City's prison population by 20% since July of 2015; and

WHEREAS, Despite this progress, there are still individuals who remain incarcerated in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons solely because they cannot afford to post their assigned bail; and

WHEREAS, Research suggests that cash bail does not improve public safety, and does not increase the likelihood of assuring a defendant's presence in court; and

WHEREAS, Cash bail and pretrial detention has devastating consequences for individuals, families and communities-- disproportionately and unfairly harming low-income communities of color; and

WHEREAS, Cash bail keeps hundreds of impoverished Philadelphians incarcerated while awaiting resolution of criminal matters; and

WHEREAS, The Pennsylvania Constitution prohibits the use of excessive bail, recognizes that all people are born equally free with an inherent right to liberty, and enshrines the presumption of innocence until proven guilty; and

WHEREAS, Jailing people because they ca...

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