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California becomes first state to officially end cash bail

California became the first U.S. state to officially abolish cash bail Tuesday, a landmark for the national bail reform movement.

“This is a transformative day for our justice system,” said Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. “Our old system of money bail was outdated, unsafe, and unfair.”

The bipartisan bail reform effort in California is seen as a model for those working toward reform in other states, including North Carolina.

Cantil-Sakauye, a Republican appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, emphasized the work of all three branches of state government that led to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown finally signing the reform bill into law this week.

“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.”

For more on this issue and how it impacts North Carolina, check out Policy Watch’s continuing coverage of the for-profit bail industry and the movement to reform it.

The North Carolina Courts Commission will be discussing the bail system at its next meeting, to be held September 7.

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