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Is Bail Reform Headed for Cuyahoga County?

Even 72 hours behind bars can impact a person's living situation, job, or parental rights. Low-income defendants are often locked up while awaiting trial – even when facing relatively minor charges – simply because they can’t afford money bail. A new report by the Cuyahoga Country Bail Task Force offers several recommendations to make the process fairer, including a centralized bail hearing system, an objective risk assessment tool, added pretrial services, mental health screenings, and better access to treatment. To learn more about the report and how it could impact courts around the county, ideastream's Rick Jackson spoke with Judge John J. Russo and Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich, lead author of the report.

- Judge John J. Russo, Cuyahoga County Common Please Court

- Jonathan Witmer-Rich, professor, Cleveland State University's Marshall College of Law