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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.

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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