Governor Brown revamps California’s bail system

Gov. Jerry Brown signs the California Money Bail Reform Act, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. Left to right: Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate President pro Tempore Atkins, Governor Brown (seated), Senator Hertzberg, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Assemblymember Bonta. OFFICE OF GOVERNOR EDMUND G. BROWN JR.

Gov. Jerry Brown made major changes to California’s bail system Tuesday when he signed Senate Bill 10, the California Money Bail Reform Act.

The new law – which will take effect on Oct. 1, 2019 – establishes a new system for determining a defendant’s custody status while they await trial based on an assessment of risk to public safety and probability of missing a court date rather than their ability to pay cash bail.

“Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” Brown said Tuesday.

This action delivers on the commitment made last August by Brown, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and the bill’s authors – Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) – to work together on long-needed reforms in the second year of the two-year legislative session.

“This is a transformative day for our justice system,” said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye. “Our old system of money bail was outdated, unsafe, and unfair. It took a three-branch solution with Governor Brown, the Legislature led by Senator Hertzberg and Assemblymember Bonta, and the Judicial Council’s Administrative Director Martin Hoshino working with judges in my Pretrial Detention Reform Work Group to bring about a fair and just solution for all Californians.”

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