LANSING — A bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators led by state Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids) announced earlier this week the introduction of companion packages in the House and Senate to reform Michigan’s broken cash bail system. The legislation would make much-needed changes to ensure those housed in pre-trial confinement are kept only when they pose a danger to society or are a flight risk, not due to lack of funds to pay for their own release. In response, state Rep. LaTanya Garrett (D-Detroit), sponsor of House Bill 4358 issued the following statement:

“Our communities have been ravaged by the endless cycle of the pay or stay justice system that violates the Constitutional rights of those imprisoned by presuming guilt instead of innocence. In county jails across our state, there are people doing time for crimes they have never been tried for – not because they are guilty, but because they did not have the financial means to secure their freedom. In a country that prides itself on liberty and justice for all – the cash bail system is utter hypocrisy.”