Los Angeles: The general principles of bail are governed by mandatory factors identified in the California Constitution, which makes public safety and the victim’s safety the primary considerations – not punishment or tyranny.
Law enforcement is averse to the list of ‘book and release’ offenses because that approach offers little to no deterrence to those involved in a range of serious criminal offenses. Our goals are safety, deterrence, and prevention – not punishment. Historically, these goals have been achieved by the imposition of higher bail amounts. To achieve those goals, our primary focus should be whether the individual poses a serious threat to public safety, and not their ability to pay.
With the new bail schedule, the magistrate review process will evaluate the individual circumstances of an arrest, as well as the person’s past criminal history, in evaluating the ongoing risk to public safety and the safety of the victim.
On a case-by-case basis, absent the existence of sufficient safeguards in the release of these individuals back into the community, we are asking the court to not release individuals who pose risks to community safety, including those with repeated instances of prior serious offenses.
We will continue to speak with the L.A. County Judicial Council as they strive to strike the appropriate balance in protecting community safety and victims from further harm, without unduly withholding an individual from their release back into the community.