News Releases

January 5, 2021: District Attorney George Gascón Issues Statement on Money Bail

Media Relations Division
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District Attorney George Gascón is committed to ending money bail in Los Angeles County. On his first day in office, he directed his deputy district attorneys to stop seeking money bail for misdemeanor, non-violent and non-serious felony offenses. 

Now, District Attorney Gascón is preparing to implement the next phase of bail reform in Los Angeles County. He is monitoring the California Supreme Court’s actions in the Humphrey case that will address the bedrock constitutional tenets as applied to money bail. The court's decision is expected to lay the legal groundwork for the future of bail reform in California. As he awaits the court's decision, District Attorney Gascón is seeking input from his prosecutors, defense attorneys and the bench. 

He released the following statement today as the California Supreme Court weighs the issue:

"Money bail is as unjust as it is unsafe. It allows wealthy people who are dangerous to purchase their freedom while those without means who pose no risk to public safety languish in jail awaiting trial. There is no evidence that cash bail provides a sufficient incentive necessary for people to return to court. But, there is evidence that the inability for people to obtain money for bail leads to them losing their jobs, homes and access to treatment while separating them from their children. It can destroy families and it weakens our communities.

In addition, cash bail undermines a central principle of the judicial system: The presumption of innocence. There is no objective rationale for caging people who pose no danger to our community and have not been found guilty of a crime because they do not have the means to buy their freedom. Pretrial detention has been shown to pressure many to plead guilty to crimes simply to secure their release. That is an injustice of epic proportions that we must cure here in Los Angeles."