REP LIEU PROVISION TO COLLECT PRETRIAL DETENTION INFORMATION INCLUDED IN FY2020 APPROPRIATIONS
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after the House passed an appropriations bill with an accompanying report that directs the Bureau of Justice Statistic (BJS) to collect information on pretrial detention. Rep. Lieu has been a vocal advocate of pretrial detention reform since entering Congress and has called for ending the use of money bail. Nearly a quarter of individuals incarcerated in the United States have not been convicted of a crime. Many of those individuals held in pretrial detention simply cannot afford to post bail, but are not necessarily considered dangerous to the community or flight risks. Rep. Lieu made this appropriations request because BJS currently does not collect adequate data on pretrial detentions.
"This is an important step in our efforts to eliminate the harmful practice of requiring money to post bail. The amount of money you have in your bank account should not determine your freedom. My provision will direct BJS to collect data on how many individuals are in pretrial detention at local, state and federal facilities; how long those individuals have been held; and whether those individuals were offered but could not afford to pay bail. Having BJS data will help us have a better understanding of the scope of this problematic system, which results in people being locked up for being poor. A special thank you to Appropriations Chair Lowey and Subcommittee Chair Serrano for supporting this provision."
Rep Lieu has introduced the following bills to reduce and eliminate the use of money bail: