The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from requiring a criminal defendant to pay "excessive bail" in order to get out of jail before trial. Nevertheless, nearly half a million people across the country are in pretrial detention. The collateral consequences of detention can affect a defendant's employment status, housing situation, and mental health, among other facets of his or her life. Off Paper's guests on this episode—Chief Pretrial Services Officer Chris Dozier and Pretrial Justice Institute Chief Executive Officer Cherise Fanno Burdeen—have been working for decades to reduce both the inequality in the federal and state bail systems and the number of defendants who are unnecessarily detained before trial. On this episode of Off Paper host Mark Sherman talks to his guests about bail reform efforts, issues relating to jails and the consequences of pretrial detention.
Off Paper: The Criminal Justice Podcast from the FJC focuses on issues of federal criminal justice and, more specifically, how those issues affect probation and pretrial services officers and their clients. When an individual has finished serving any time and successfully completed release requirements, that person is "off paper."