112: Jeremy Travis on Why America’s Bail System is Broken

Most of what people know about the criminal justice system is based on what they’ve watched on TV. Unless you or someone you know has had to be bailed out of jail, you’re probably not familiar with the bail process or some of the inherent problems with the current system. Even so, these problems affect millions of people each year in ways you may not have considered. Jeremy Travis from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation joins Connor to discuss the challenges of the bail system and some potential solutions.  

About the Guest

Jeremy Travis is the Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. He served for 13 years as president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and was a senior fellow with the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Jeremy is a member of The Committee on Law and Justice for the National Research Council and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Urban Institute. He earned his J.D. and M.P.A. from New York University and his bachelor’s degree from Yale College.

Links mentioned:

  • Bail Insights

    So you are going to ask a guy, who works for the organization that is funding the federal lawsuits against the bail industry and who stands to make millions when they convince the rest of the country to use their risk assessment tool, what he thinks about the bail industry? Let me guess…it is unfair…it keeps poor people locked up. The Arnold risk assessment is junk science at best. It is not just a tool as they claim. They have contracts they make each county sign that says judges must go with the tool’s recommendation 80% of the time. How is that just a tool? How is that judicial discretion? Eliminating the bail industry is both ill advised and dangerous. If you release criminals on simply a promise to appear, they will NOT show up for court. If they have no money on the line and no skin in the game, it has been proven they don’t show up. It is time to stop relying on computers and utilize the system that has worked for hundreds of years. Instead of spending money replacing a private sector industry with an inefficient public sector group to empty out the jails, why don’t we use the money to teach people not to commit crimes in the first place.