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LA County Will Try Bail Reform, But Critics Say It’s Going About It All Wrong

(Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for UNITAS)
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Los Angeles County is moving ahead with a bail reform pilot program, despite warnings from criminal justice reform advocates that the program will perpetuate racial discrimination against defendants.

Critics of cash bail have long argued that it discriminates against poorer defendants, and can cause people to lose their jobs and get evicted. The pilot program introduces a set of tools that use algorithms to measure a defendant's risk to the community. Those deemed to be low-risk would be released without bail.

But JusticeLA, a coalition of advocacy groups, wrote a letter to the supervisors opposing the pilot, arguing that numerous experts have argued that risk assessment tools are inherently discriminatory.