National Poll on Bail Reform Shows Latinx Voters Are Ready to Improve Pretrial Justice
Today LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) released a national public opinion poll of Latinx registered voters’ views of money bail and the pretrial justice system. The new data shows that 91% of Latinx voters are dissatisfied with how the criminal justice system currently operates. The improvements Latinx voters want to see include
- reducing arrests for low-level, nonviolent offenses,
- restricting detention, except where needed to protect public safety, and
- increasing equity by reducing racial and economic disparities in the system.
More than any other group, Latinx voters want to replace the money bail system.
“Latinx voters are ready to align in solidarity to replace money bail in America. And well they should since research has shown that they are disproportionately required to post money bail and at higher amounts. We thank the Pretrial Justice Institute for asking these polling questions to the Latinx electorate and we now stand ready to mobilize them for common sense pretrial reform.” said Juan Cartagena, LatinoJustice PRLDEF President and General Counsel.
“Latinx Americans are the United States’ fastest-growing demographic group, and they’re also more likely to be unfairly penalized by the money bail system,” said Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Chief Executive Officer of the Pretrial Justice Institute. “This nationwide poll shows Latinx voters want a commonsense pretrial system that protects fairness and liberty, regardless of the color of your skin or the balance in your bank account.”
Nearly nine of out 10 Latinx voters believe that the current criminal justice system provides better outcomes to wealthy people than to poor and working-class people. Additionally, when asked if the criminal justice system treats everyone fairly regardless of race, 74% felt that white people experience better outcomes than Latinxs and other people of color.
Other key findings include:
- Almost three in four Latinx voters (73%) would limit how long a person could be jailed before trial on non-serious offenses.
- 61% of Latinx voters were in favor of eliminating money bail and replacing it with pretrial services and supervision.
Arrested Latinx people are more likely to be required to pay bail to gain release, receive the highest bail amounts, and are the least able to pay. In Los Angeles alone Latinx communities paid $92.1 million to the commercial bond industry between 2012 and 2016.
The study, conducted by Lake Research Partners, between May 2-17, 2018, included phone interviews to 261 Latinx voters of all major demographic groups, political affiliations, and geographical regions throughout the country.
Find the report and report summary on the poll results here.