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National bail reform includes controversial measures of judicial discretion

from By Michelle R. Matisons

In late December, President Trump signed the First Step Act, which reforms aspects of the federal prison system and U.S. corrections culture. The legislation came after a prisoner's strike earlier in 2018 urgently echoed ongoing reform efforts, including felony voting and measures to prevent harmful overcrowding. One way to avoid overcrowded facilities is cash bail reform. New York City and other large and racially diverse urban centers, like Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago, are involved in experimental bail reform efforts that ameliorate some of the worst aspects of the system, while retaining powerful, and potentially subjective, judicial influence. more

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