Bail reform: A slap in the face to victims and survivors

I go to work each day to protect our nation’s most vulnerable — our children. As president of Stop Child Predators, it’s my job to educate families on sexual assault prevention and to stem the tide of dangerous trends that allow predators to roam our streets and commit such grotesque crimes in the first place.

That’s why I am surprised that proponents of bail reform are calling for changes that will make it easier for criminals to get out of jail and recommit crimes in Texas, a state that has historically remained “tough on crime.”

Bail reform, while being sold as a solution to help poor people, would significantly undercut public safety by eliminating cash bail and implementing risk assessment tools in its place.

The risk assessment tools used to decide who should be jailed are the equivalent of a magic eight ball. These tools often do not consider any history of criminal offenses outside of Texas, and the results are often kept secret from the public.

Studies have shown these algorithms do not reduce recidivism, do not reduce failure to appear, and do not reduce jail populations. Additionally, these tools are largely unproven, unreliable, and racially biased. Yet, many in Texas wrongly believe them to be a solution for freeing poor people who cannot afford to post bail — even though these tools are not designed to determine who is or is not poor.

Read More: Stop Child Predators

Stacie Rumenap

President, Stop Child Predators

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