California Proposition 25: Getting rid of cash bail

Election guide

Voting yes on Prop 25 means upholding a law passed by the State Legislature in 2018 to get rid of cash bail. 

People suspected of crime and who can’t afford to bail out of jail have the option of paying bond companies or waiting for their trial behind bars. Prop 25 would replace this practice with a system based on a person’s assessed risk. 

Voting no on Prop 25 means suspects would continue to pay cash bail, bond companies or wait behind bars while they wait for their trial. 

Supporters: Newsom is among the long list of California Democrats who back the measure. The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, which works to end mass incarceration, and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights also support Prop 25.

L.A. Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, philanthropist Connie Ballmer, have helped raise more than $8.3 million to promote the proposition. 

Critics: The bail bond industry, including the parent company of Aladdin Bail Bonds, have contributed much of the more than $9 million raised to beat Prop 25.

The companies collected signatures to put the measure on the ballot after California lawmakers voted to end cash bail two years ago. 

The ACLU has also come out against Prop 25, saying that the risk-assessment system that would replace cash bail would be “racially and socioeconomically biased.” Passing the measure would also increase police agency funding, the group said. 

In this Nov. 1, 2016, file photo, detainees wait in a cell for an appearance in Sacramento County Superior Court in Sacramento, Calif. In November 2020, California voters will consider rolling back a host of criminal justice changes in what amounts to a referendum on whether the famously progressive state has become too lenient. Proposition 20 would amend criminal sentencing and supervision laws enacted during the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown that critics say are too favorable to criminals, while Proposition 25 could overturn a 2018 law that eliminates cash bail. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
In this Nov. 1, 2016, file photo, detainees wait in a cell for an appearance in Sacramento County Superior Court in Sacramento, Calif. In November 2020, California voters will consider rolling back a host of criminal justice changes in what amounts to a referendum on whether the famously progressive state has become too lenient. Proposition 20 would amend criminal sentencing and supervision laws enacted during the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown that critics say are too favorable to criminals, while Proposition 25 could overturn a 2018 law that eliminates cash bail. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

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