Wealth should not determine liberty, but that’s exactly what would happen if New Mexico rolls back bail reform.
1. NEW MEXICANS REJECTED UNJUST PRETRIAL DETENTION POLICIES IN 2016.
In 2016, New Mexico voters passed a constitutional amendment to reform bail practices to ensure that the courts do not detain individuals solely because they cannot post bond, while ensuring the detention of those who pose a danger to the community or are a flight risk.
Prior to reform, people who couldn’t afford bail to get out would sit in jail, often in dangerous conditions, despite not being convicted of a crime and regardless of whether they were a threat to the community.
2. JUDGES ALREADY CONSIDER THE SERIOUSNESS OF CHARGES AND CRIMINAL HISTORICES WHEN MAKING DETENTION DECISIONS
The current pretrial detention system is equipped to detain “dangerous” individuals prior to trial where necessary. Rates of committing new crimes are extremely low under the current system, and people released on bail return to court at high rates.
New Mexicans agree that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty and should not be incarcerated without due process.
3.ATTEMPTS TO ROLL BACK IMPORTANT BAIL REFORMS ARE NOT ROOTED IN FACT AND WILL NOT MAKE US SAFER; WHAT WORKS IS INVESTING IN OUR COMMUNITIES.
Investments in our communities, safe schools, dependable housing, behavior health, and substance abuse and misuse treatments are the only way to ensure real change for safer communities.