Somewhat lost in a revived debate involving the rights of the accused and protecting the public: Wisconsin’s cash bail system wasn’t created to protect public safety.
Controversial algorithms help decide who stays in jail before trial
Some Wisconsin counties use risk assessment tools to predict who will skip out on court or commit new crimes; critics say there are better ways to cut incarceration.
Debate rages over whether pretrial risk assessments are racially biased
Some researchers say there is not enough evidence to know whether pretrial risk assessment tools will reduce or exacerbate discrimination that already exists in the justice system.
Q & A: Risk assessments explained
Questions and answers about pretrial risk assessments and their role in the criminal justice system.
Poor stay in jail while rich go free: Rethinking cash bail in Wisconsin
Across the country, poor defendants can spend days, weeks — even years — behind bars awaiting trial, an approach that judges increasingly find is unconstitutional.
Bail bond industry fights back against moves to limit or end cash bail
Wisconsin is one of just a handful of states that ban bail bonding, barring companies from profiting from people too poor to pay their way out of jail.
Nonprofit bail funds help poor gain freedom nationally and in Wisconsin
Nonprofits fill in the gap for defendants who cannot afford to bail themselves out of jail before their trials
Beyond Bail: Key terms explained
A glossary of terms used in the Center’s Beyond Bail series.