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Mecklenburg County Takes A New Look At Bail Reform

man in handcuffs
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Almost one in 20 people jailed in Mecklenburg County last year were held on failure to pay court fines or fees. Now, a new program supported by the MacArthur Foundation is modeling an evidence-based approach to criminal justice reform that changes the way people are assessed, held and released. 

In November, Mecklenburg district court judges, including Elizabeth Trosch, began holding formal hearings to determine a defendant’s ability to pay before imposing financial punishments. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Trosch about the current failings of the pay-to-release bail system and the new effort to find alternatives.    

Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
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.