What Price Cashless Bail?

A referendum on the California ballot will abolish cash bail but increase preventive detention—splitting state progressives into pro and con camps.

In just three weeks, California could become the first state in the nation to abolish money bail when voters go to the polls to decide the fate of Proposition 25. Should the measure pass, Senate Bill 10, which then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two years ago, will go into effect. As soon as the measure was signed, however, it was immediately stalled by the bail industry and its backers, which gathered the signatures to subject the legislation to a November 2020 referendum. A Yes vote on the measure will ratify Senate Bill 10 as a law; a No vote will strike it from the books.

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