Georgia - Urge Lawmakers to VOTE NO on SB 407: Criminal Justice System
Issues: Action Center Initiatives
TELL ELECTED OFFICIALS - VOTE NO - SB 407 "Criminal Justice System"
Senate Bill 407 is a measure that will weaken Georgia’s system of criminal accountability.
The legislation introduces the concept of unsecured bail bonds into Georgia. Rather than actually having to post bail, an unsecured bond is where a defendant gets to simply “promise” the court that they will post their bail later, i.e., after they skip court. Not only does national research show that unsecured bails do not work any better than a defendant simply promising to show up in court, unsecured bail has another big problem. It turns the State into a bail collection agency, and every defendant who skips court or accidentally misses court into a debtor of the State of Georgia. The City of Philadelphia at one point had $1 billion in outstanding liability that was completely uncollectable. Of course, this opens up the other issue of other sanctions including more jail time for non-payment of such debt.
Second, Senate Bill 407 intends to eliminate both arrest and the requirement to post bail in misdemeanor cases. This gives the go-ahead for law enforcement to just issue tickets on misdemeanor cases.
It’s time for the Georgia legislature to SAY NO on their bail reform plan. This is not the time to harm small businesses, weaken criminal accountability, and have cops start issuing tickets to heroin dealers that are wreaking havoc in Georgia’s communities.