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Statement by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in Response to Senate Bill 10

We applaud Senate Bill 10 for eliminating money bail, requiring the use of risk assessment, and mandating release for low-risk defendants, but we share concerns that recent changes to the bill give prosecutors and judges so much latitude in seeking preventive detention that it might lead to unnecessary and unjust pretrial detention. SB10 offers an opportunity for historic reform, but the broad scope for preventive detention could swallow the bill’s good intentions. We therefore urge leaders in California to take every precaution to ensure the bill’s provisions do not lead to an increase in pretrial detention. Lawmakers, practitioners, academics, and civil rights leaders should work together to implement and evaluate the impacts of SB10. Thanks to the bill’s data and research provisions, we will have the rare opportunity to learn from statewide, cross-system reform and use that knowledge to inform similar reforms across the country.

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