Bend the Arc Withdraws Support for SB 10


Bend the Arc has spent the past two years working painstakingly with the Ella Baker Center, Essie Justice Group, ACLU, affected communities, and our other partners to end California’s current cash bail system. Toward that end, we have promoted specific legislation, SB10 (Hertzberg), which originally contained important language that would decrease the number of people held unjustly and inequitably in pretrial detention.

After this much time and effort, we are sad to report that behind-the-scenes negotiations among the bill’s authors, the Governor, State Judicial Council, and others, have resulted in significant modifications whereby many of the provisions of the original bill were removed or modified substantially. From what we understand from our organizational partners, the bill would no longer support a decrease in detention, and would potentially cause more people to be detained pretrial, for longer periods of time.  For that reason, after deep discussion among Bend the Arc staff, our partners, and involved regional and local leaders, Bend the Arc has decided to oppose SB 10 in its revised form.

This is of course a very disappointing turn of events, in which we and our partners are now opposing a bill we have been championing.  Our two lead partners--Ella Baker Center and Essie Justice Group, the leading national organization of women with incarcerated loved ones--are now withdrawing their support from the bill in its current form. Most of our other close grassroots partners, including Silicon Valley Debug, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and Californians United for a Responsible Budget, are now actively opposing the bill. The coalition that recently made a grant to us to support our bail reform work is withdrawing their support.  

The one upside is that the current bill would end the use of commercial bail in California; however, given that it would be replaced with a system that is far more nefarious, it would hardly be viewed as a win.  Bend the Arc has signed onto Essie Justice Group's opposition letter that goes into deeper explanation on these issues. Feel free to check it out if you're curious.

We are also happy to answer any questions you have about this bill and what it means for us to actively oppose moving forward. 

We are working to make our collective opposition have a positive impact. We are hopeful that a strong campaign in opposition this year will open doors next year for a more robust bail reform effort. 

For more information :

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