Modernizing Maryland’s Bail System | WYPR

Modernizing Maryland’s Bail System

Jun 8, 2016

Most people in jail in Maryland haven’t been convicted of a crime. They’re awaiting trial behind bars because they can’t afford to post bail. Critics have called for bail reform for decades, but recent events have amplified their voices. A Baltimore judge set a $500,000 dollar bail for a teenager who broke the windshield of a police car following the death of Freddie Gray, far more than the bails set for the officers charged in Gray’s death. The contrast made national headlines. Advocates say the bail system is arbitrary, and that poverty, not guilt, often lands people in jail. What would eliminating money bail mean for criminal justice in Maryland?

Our guests: Cherise Fanno Burdeen, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute; Scott Shellenberger, Baltimore County State’s Attorney; Paul DeWolfe, Maryland's chief public defender.