WEST CHESTER, PA — The Party for Socialism and Liberation Chester County and the Downingtown Community Focus Project released the following statement on the continuing efforts to end cash bail in Chester County:
“On October 4th, 2021, the Party for Socialism and Liberation Chester County and the Downingtown Community Focus Project sent a letter demanding the abolishment of cash bail in Chester County to the following recipients: District Attorney Deborah Ryan and her office, the Honorable John L. Hall, the Honorable Katherine B. L. Platt, the Honorable Jacqueline Carrol Cody, the Honorable William P. Mahon, the Honorable Edward Griffith, the Honorable David F. Bortner, the Honorable Ann Marie Wheatcraft, the Honorable Mark L. Tunnel, the Honorable Patrick Carmody, the Honorable Jeffrey R. Sommer, the Honorable Allison Bell Royer, the Honorable Bret M. Binder, the Honorable Analisa Sondergaard, the Honorable Robert J. Shenkin, the Honorable Phyllis R. Streitel, the Honorable Emanuel A. Bertin, County Commissioner Josh Maxwell, County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz, and County Commissioner Michelle Kichline.
“To date, we have heard no response from any of the above recipients. We take their silence as a statement of support for the oppressive and racist cash bail system.
“Under cash bail, pre-trial incarceration is predicated on the ability to pay, rather than the risk to public safety. In Pennsylvania, over 60 percent of people incarcerated are pretrial. Prolonged pretrial incarceration causes the loss of housing, employment, child custody, and is incredibly detrimental to mental and physical wellbeing. Cash bail hurts poor and working people the most, but offers no increased public safety.
“Cash bail is a lucrative system for the bail bondsmen and insurance companies. In 2018, bail bondsmen and insurance companies in the US were making a net profit of between 1.4 and 2.4 billion dollars annually from bail money. This money is being made directly at the expense of the most vulnerable: those who are already in a financial position such that they are unable to afford to post bail.
“Washington DC ended the practice of cash bail in 1991. Philadelphia has limited the use of cash bail in recent years. For defendants released without bail, recidivism rates have not changed. Cash bail does not prevent “flight risk” or diminish recidivism.
“Our elected officials are unwilling to act to end the system of cash bail in Chester County. Therefore, we must stand up to demand the change that is needed to keep our people home and our families and communities whole. We are holding a rally on Saturday October 30th, 2021 at 1:00PM at the Historic Courthouse in West Chester, PA and invite members of the press and the public to join us in demanding: End Cash Bail in Chester County! Event viewable on Facebook: https://fb.me/e/1PRGa00rf.”
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