Video: Why is RIKERS Still Open? The War on Bail Reform

The cash bail system in the United States is based on the mistaken notion that, without holding someone’s money hostage, they wouldn’t show up for their court date. There’s not much evidence to support this, and ample evidence that, in effect, cash bail serves to allow poor people to be locked up without trial, simply because they are poor. When those people are being held in a place like Rikers – sometimes for years – the nightmarish conditions can drive them to suicide, or to giving a false confession just to be able to return to their lives in some way. Olayemi Olurin is among other things, an attorney and abolitionist who’s made a name for herself recently with her cutting political commentary. She’s been very vocal about the ongoing human rights violation that is the jail on Rikers Island, and this clip from her new show does a good job making the case to shut down Rikers, and end cash bail:

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