A Northern California district attorney revealed more than 70 percent of suspects who were released on $0 bail between 2020 and 2021 in his county went on to commit new crimes.
“When over 70 percent of the people released under mandated $0 bail policies go on to commit additional crime(s), including violent offenses such as robbery and murder, there is simply no rational public safety-related basis to continue such a practice post-pandemic, especially in light of the increasing violent crime rates across California,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said in a Monday statement.
In April 2020, the California Judicial Council implemented the Emergency Bail Schedule which mandated $0 bail for most people accused of crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Yolo DA’s office tracked individuals who were released on $0 and who were rearrested.
The Judicial Council rescinded the order in June 2020, but several California countries kept the bail schedule in effect, including Yolo County. It wasn’t until June 1, 2021, that the county enacted a new bail schedule and ended the $0 bail protocol, according to Reisig’s office, which also released a report (pdf).
“Recent criminal histories of the 595 individuals released on $0 bail in Yolo County were reviewed for any new arrests in the state of California,” said the office on Monday. “Of the 595 individuals released, 420 were rearrested (70.6 percent) and 123 (20 percent of the overall number or 29 percent of those rearrested) were arrested for a crime of violence.”
That includes crimes of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, domestic violence, robbery, and carjacking.
Resig’s office noted that one person who was released on $0 bail in Yolo County was charged with murder in Sacramento County in connection to a July 2021 shooting.
His findings come amid criticisms about the elimination of cash bail in some states and municipalities across the United States. Left-wing activists say that the no-bail policy makes it fairer for people who can’t afford to make bail.
But critics, including police groups and unions, say that people who are released and re-released often go on to commit other crimes.
An analysis released by the New York Post earlier this month revealed that 10 criminals netted nearly 500 arrests since the start of New York state’s controversial bail reform laws went into effect in 2020.
“Time and time again, our police officers make an arrest, and then the person who is arrested for assault, felonious assaults, robberies, and gun possessions, they’re finding themselves back on the street within days—if not hours—after the arrest,” said New York City Major Eric Adams, a Democrat, said earlier this month about the policy.