End the use of cash bail for many charges.
Like most of our neighbors, we believe decisions about whether to jail someone pre-trial should be based on community safety and well-being, not how much money that person has.
Under Minnesota’s law, everyone who is arrested has a right to bail. But Minnesota courts do not have to take into account each defendant’s ability to pay, so judges are allowed to set bail amounts that wildly exceed what people are actually able to afford. In 2021, the average bail request Minnesota Freedom Fund received from Black defendants was $76,816 — nearly twice the average support requested by white defendants and 7.5 times the national median income of Black people across the country who are in jail because they cannot afford their bail.
The current system allows judges to circumvent our rights by setting bail amounts that are explicitly designed to keep people jailed pretrial – often based on false and biased assumptions about the relationships between crime, race, and economic class. That means an unhoused person who is arrested for trespassing would likely be jailed for months awaiting trial, while a wealthy person accused of assault would be allowed to go free.
The cash bail system does not deliver fairness, it does not deliver public safety, and it prevents our collective well-being by extracting wealth from our communities and removing access to the things that keep people safe: employment, housing, healthcare, and family support.
That’s why we’re working at the Legislature to promote legislation that would eliminate the use of cash bail for many offenses.
Rep. Mohamud Noor (D); Rep. Jamie Long (D); Rep. Heather Keeler (D); Rep. Heather Edelson (D); Rep. Hodan Hassan (D); Rep. Michelle Christensen (D); Sen. John Marty (D); Sen. Zaynab Mohamed (D); Sen. D. Scott Dibble (D)