West Virginia Public Broadcasting – States across the country have taken stabs at reforming how the money bail system operates. In West Virginia, the state legislature passed HB 2419, a law enacted in June 2020 that aimed to limit bail amounts, and by extension, shrink the exploding jail population. Read the full article.
HB 2419 calls for judges and magistrates to use discretion when assigning bail by using the least restrictive means necessary to ensure the accused person’s appearance in court. The law encourages judges to release certain nonviolent offenders on personal recognizance bonds, which is a formal agreement where the accused person is released from jail on the promise that they will return for trial.
The bill was passed at a time when jails and prisons across the country were releasing more people to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and West Virginia followed that trend.
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