Broken Rules: How Pennsylvania Courts Use Cash Bail to Incarcerate People Before Trial is a new research report published by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. Documenting statewide bail practices based on data from 2016 and 2017, the report finds that unaffordable cash bail is a statewide crisis. In counties across Pennsylvania, magisterial district judges routinely set bail that people cannot afford. The report provides four recommendations that Pennsylvania’s courts can and must take on the path to reform.
2. Resident judges must exercise supervisory authority over the magisterial district judges whom they oversee;
3. Thee Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts must promote transparency by analyzing bail data on a regular basis;
4. Courts and jails must work together to install safeguards that guarantee no person is incarcerated only because they are unable to pay bail.