Professor Trachtenberg: Bail Amounts Can Put Many at Risk

A recent story on KBIA-FM, Columbia Group Seeks Equity with Bail Fund, explains how a new bail fund in Boone County, Mo., assists nonviolent offenders with posting bail.

Professor Ben Trachtenberg explained in the story how unpaid bail can put more than just the defendant at risk, “Many people who are in jail awaiting trial lose their jobs or might have their children taken away from them and put into the foster care system. People who are looking after elderly relatives, all of a sudden, can’t be caretakers for them. So it’s not just the person who’s locked up who is suffering from the cash bail system. It’s everyone who depends on them.”

The Columbia group, Race Matters, Friends, began developing its program in 2017 and launched the service in March 2019. The story explains, team members bail clients out of Boone County Jail and help them with paperwork and making their court date. Those benefiting from the fund need to meet three criteria: must be a Boone County resident, be charged with a nonviolent offense, and bail must equal or be less than $2,000.