Law enforcement officials and some residents continued to express safety concerns on Tuesday, Sept. 26, about the imminent implementation of zero bail in Los Angeles County, but backers of the plan told the Board of Supervisors that misinformation about the system is leading to unfounded perceptions that crime will increase and criminals won’t be held accountable.
“Our communities have not been shy about telling us how nervous they are about this change,” Sheriff Robert Luna told the board, saying crime victims who see offenders immediately released from custody are left with little confidence in the criminal justice system. He said he respects the need to respect constitutional rights of arrestees, but zero-bail can demoralize deputies and police officers who work hard to make arrests, only to “watch the offender walk away with a citation as the victim looks on in disbelief.”
But Supervisor Holly Mitchell said the zero-bail system taking effect Sunday does not mean criminals are escaping punishment for their offenses.
“It’s really dangerous for us to conflate bail with accountability,” Mitchell said, adding later: “Bail means I have the resources to pay my way out of jail.”
The zero-bail system, officially dubbed by the Los Angeles Superior