Courtwatching Report Featured in In These Times
“Chief Circuit Court Judge Timothy Evans ordered his judges to ensure “the defendant has the present ability to pay the amount necessary to secure his or her release on bail.”
“Defendants should not be sitting in jail awaiting trial simply because they lack the financial resources to secure their release,” Evans said. “If they are not deemed a danger to any person or the public, my order states that they will receive a bail they can afford.” The order went into effect Sept. 18, 2017.
The coalition had 70 volunteers attend bond court in August and September 2017, before and after the order’s implementation, diligently compiling data.
On February 27, they released their findings: Following Evans’ order, the rate of pretrial releases nearly doubled and the use of monetary bond dropped by half.”