Let’s Finish the Job: Pass Bail Reform Legislation this year.
Michigan’s bail system is badly broken. It is a key driver of mass incarceration and disproportionately impacts Black and Brown people.
On any given day, over half of Michigan’s jail population – about 8,000 people presumed innocent but who can’t afford bail – remain locked behind bars, still waiting for their day in court.
This past year, the Michigan Legislature overwhelmingly passed a series of laws that will go a long way toward transforming our legal system.
But the work is not done. We must build on this momentum to fix the broken bail system this year.
Together, we can transform our bail system so that it enables people to contribute to their communities rather than restrain them with overbearing and harmful bail restrictions.
This year, we must work together to pass legislation aimed squarely at transforming our broken bail system to:
• Promote fairness and equality by establishing consistent statewide guidelines when determining the conditions of pretrial release.
• Promote a standard to keep people in their communities by presuming release on personal recognizance without conditions rather than routinely setting cash bail.
• Prioritize support over punishment by offering proven alternatives to incarceration, such as rehabilitative programs for people struggling with mental health issues or substance use disorder.
• End systemic racism in Michigan’s legal system by exposing and eliminating policies, practices, and barriers in the pretrial system that disproportionately impact people of color.
• Require courts to regularly share data on their pretrial release decisions as a tool for the public to evaluate the effectiveness of reform policies.
This work is urgent. Every day, thousands of Michiganders are trapped in jail because they cannot pay bail—and their lives are devastated in the process.
Sign this petition to tell your lawmakers that we must pass bail reform legislation this year.