This bill would prohibit the use of money bail in federal criminal proceedings and seek to encourage states to move away from the use of money bail by offering grants through the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to implement alternate pretrial detention systems. Beginning three years after this bill’s enactment, states would be prohibited from receiving DOJ grants if they still use money bail systems. Additionally, DOJ would be required to produce a study three years after the bill’s enactment,
What is Senate Bill S. 3271?
Cost of Senate Bill S. 3271
In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced this bill to end the money bail system:
“Poverty is not a crime and hundreds of thousands of Americans, convicted of nothing, should not be in jail today because they cannot afford cash bail. In the year 2018, in the United States, we should not continue having a ‘debtor prison’ system. Our destructive and unjust cash bail process is part of our broken criminal justice system -- and must be ended.”
A column from the Federalist Society argues that the money bail system is constitutional, and that reform efforts should be focused on state policies:
“Bail remains on as firm a constitutional footing today as when the bail clause was written into the Bill of Rights. Arguments against money bail should remain focused on discrete practices that may be unlawful or bad public policy. The question that states ought to ask, therefore, is not whether the Constitution needs to be radically reinterpreted, but whether bail remains an effective means of ensuring appearance at trial, and if equally or more effective means now exist, is some change in order?”
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: iStock / Llgorko)
No Money Bail Act
A bill to prohibit the use of payment of money as a condition of pretrial release in Federal criminal cases, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The house has not voted
- The senate has not voted
Committee on the JudiciaryIntroducedJuly 25th, 2018
- senate Committees