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Special Commission to Evaluate Policies and Procedures Related to the Current Bail System - Massachusetts 2020 

04-15-2020 20:01

The Special Commission to Evaluate Policies and Procedures Related to the Current Bail System released its report. The Commission declined to recommend the elimination of cash bail, believing that procedures regarding affordable bail were largely addressed after the state Supreme Judicial Court addressed the issue in Brangan v. Commonwealth and the decision was largely codified to ensure that bail would be set no higher that what would reasonably assure appearance after accounting for financial resources. The report also found disparities in the imposition of bail. Nineteen percent of non-whites were subject to a bail over $5,000, compared to 11% of whites; conversely, 54% of non-whites were subject to bail amounts under $1,000, compared to 63% of whites. The report recommended that courts, probations, prosecutors and police departments continue to implement anti-racism and implicit bias training, and to gather future data.

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