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Bail Reform Project In Western North Carolina Offers Promise:

The money bail system disproportionately affects marginalized communities.
Replacing the money bail system may maintain public safety while easing burden on marginalized communities

Two Western North Carolina counties are hoping to revamp the money bail system in the interest of public safety and making better use of taxpayer resources related to jail costs. 

A pilot project launched earlier this year implemented reforms including changes to how bail is determined; promoting the use of citations and summons instead of arrest; and outfitting patrol officers with a reference card outlining which infractions require arrest. Early results indicate a significant decrease in the number of cases that got money bonds, but no increase in the number of people who failed to appear in court. 

Jessica Smith has been instrumental in developing this program, and she joins host Frank Stasio to share her analysis of the findings. Smith is W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the UNC School of Government.

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