America’s jails

I just finished reading a great article by Ryan Cooper: How Local Jail Became Hell. Ryan makes the point that “the modern American jail primarily houses the legally innocent.” I discuss this issue at length in my book, Arrested: Battling America’s Criminal Justice System. As a practicing lawyer I see this all the time in jails and courtrooms. The local jail is just one tool that is used in our modern day justice system to squeeze the will out of persons who choose to demand a jury trial and maintain their innocence. All too often, persons merely accused of crimes are warehoused, sometimes for years, waiting for the opportunity to go to trial. Meanwhile they are held without bond or with a very high bond they cannot pay. This type of treatment is dangerous to all American citizens, as it makes a mockery out of the basic constitutional principal that an American citizen accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

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