US: op-ed, Why Bail Reform Should Be an LGBT Movement Priority

Today’s bail system keeps people locked up for years awaiting trialdecimates communities, and all but ensures that criminal defendants take unfavorable pleas to get out of jail.

As our bail system is being scrutinized, the LGBT movement should be taking up the cause. LGBT people are dying behind bars because they cannot pay $500 bail, they are taking pleas to criminal charges that result in their deportation, and they are being trapped in endless cycles of arrest and incarceration.

Once in prison, our community members face horrific rates of abuse. From sexual assault to deliberate withholding of needed medical care to the brutality of long-term isolation, these abuses have too-long lurked in the shadows of our advocacy efforts.

Eliminating or paying bail increases the chances that a person’s case will be dismissed or will result in a non-criminal disposition, increases the time the person spends out of jail with the health care and community connections that they need, and decreases the chances they will plead guilty to a charge with collateral consequences.. Read more via HuffPost