City Council scheduled to hear bail reform proposal

City Council scheduled to hear bail reform proposal

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council is scheduled to take up a proposal Thursday that would eliminate bail for most minor offenses.

The ordinance was prompted by concerns that the current bail system is not cost effective and unfairly targets minorities.

In September of 2016, advocates for bail reform made their case for change to a criminal justice committee.

Supporters of a proposal to reduce or eliminate bond for most minor offenses told the committee, the system adversely affects poor and black defendants, who cannot afford bail.

A Vera Justice Institute report shows in 2015, the criminal justice system in New Orleans collected $4.5 million in money associated with bail fees and post-conviction fines.

During that same time, it cost the city $6.4 million to jail people who couldn't afford to pay either.

Bail bondsmen have opposed the effort to eliminate bonds for minor offenses.

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