The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 1381 today, which YSRP hopes will usher in a more humane era of support and care for youth involved in the criminal legal system.
The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted the issue of excessively high bail for youth charged as adults, and profiled the experience of YSRP’s client, Eugene. An excerpt from the article is below — read the full article here. “Not only are they virtually always held on money bail (as opposed to released on some other condition, such as house arrest), but their bail amounts are often set extremely high. The average bail assigned in 2016 was $248,000, far outside bail guidelines the courts established in 2012, which recommend bail between $9,000 and $75,000 for the highest-risk offenders charged with the most serious of crimes. At a time when the city is embarking on a $6.1 million effort in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation to reduce its jail population by one-third, these bail amounts mean almost all juveniles will be locked up for months or years before ever being convicted of a crime.”