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Who's crowding California's jails


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According to a new report, California's jails are full of people who can't afford bail.

California's county jails are overcrowded, and a new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, a criminal justice reform think tank based in San Francisco, says much of the blame lies with California's commercial bail bond system. In "The Commercial Bail Industry: Profit or Public Safety?" author Amanda Gullings warns that jails will remain overcrowded until they develop alternatives to monetary bail.

According to the report, a large number of people are sitting in California jails because they can't afford bail. Seventy-one percent of California's jail population is pretrial--meaning, people are locked up in county jail but not because they've been convicted of a crime. There are various reasons these inmates are locked up despite not having been found guilty yet--immigration holds, warrants in other states--and the actual number of bailable inmates sitting  behind bars varies from county to county.