Take Action for Bail Reform in Cuyahoga County!

A recent report on Cuyahoga County’s bail practices illustrates that Ohio’s bail system is broken. In the eyes of the law, every defendant is innocent until proven guilty―so why is Cuyahoga County jailing large amounts of people before they are convicted of a crime? The reason: the cash bail system unfairly keeps low-income people in jail.

Tell local court officials to stop making people buy their freedom!

The bail report, which was commissioned by the ACLU of Ohio and conducted by the Pretrial Justice Institute―a leading research and policy organization committed to supporting fair and just pretrial practices― showed that nearly a third of all people who had to pay $500 or less to make bail remained in jail through the conclusion of their case, whether it be trial, a plea deal, or another resolution.

Similarly, the results showed that 25% of Cuyahoga County defendants charged with a felony were unable to afford their money bonds and were never released. These people remained in jail for an average of 104 days until their case was resolved. That’s over three months of a person’s life lost, without ever being convicted of a crime.

One of the worst discoveries was that those receiving personal bonds (bonds that require no money) remained in jail for an average of 32 days before they were released. This indicates that judges’ initial instincts are to set financial bonds first and then revise them to personal bonds later, only when it becomes apparent that the person can’t pay. If the person was safe enough to release on a personal bond weeks later, why weren’t they safe to release on day one?

As part of the report, the Pretrial Justice Institute polled judges about their willingness to learn more about bail reform and adopt fairer practices. A vast majority of the judges indicated a sincere interest in trying to fix our bail system.

Now’s the time to do your part to make things right! Sign the petition now.

402 Signed 500 Needed

Attention Local Court Officials:

I urge you to commit to bail reform in Cuyahoga County. As an active member in my community, I’m helping elevate these important issues to the forefront. I ask that you take the next steps, and implement these recommendations.

Depriving innocent people of their freedom has disastrous consequences on both the individuals directly affected and their families. Oftentimes people lose jobs, housing, and custody of their children simply because they did not have a few hundred dollars to get out of jail. This is not safe, this is not fair, and this is not the type of justice system that I support.

Please help right the wrongs of our broken criminal justice system, freedom should not depend on how much money someone has in their bank account. For these reasons, I ask that you support bail reform in Cuyahoga County.

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Recent Signers

5 days agoErica W. from Washington
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14 days agoShannon J. from Maryland