Your Voice Needed: No to SB 402
Once again, cashless bail is under attack at the state capitol, and we need your help. SB 402 is an effort to end the use of signature bonds for every criminal allegation — including misdemeanors, ordinance violations and delinquent acts by children. Signature bonds, or ‘unsecured’ bonds, allow a defendant to be freed from jail pre-trial if they promise to pay an agreed-upon sum of money, should they violate the court’s conditions. SB 402 will force poor people to remain in jail, while those with resources – charged with the exact same offense – can purchase their release.
If SB 402 becomes law, judges will only have two financial options for pretrial releases: either impose secured bonds, or nothing. By limiting those judicial options, the legislation will encourage judges to issue more secured bonds, which will line the pockets of the bail bond industry and fill cells up with people too poor to purchase their release.
SB 402 will end the use of unsecured bonds, limit judicial discretion, and increase jail populations. It will force poor people to remain in jail, while others can purchase their freedom, unjustly and unfairly harming Black and Brown communities and wasting taxpayer money.
Tell House Leadership AND your Representative that SB402 is bad for Georgia, and demand that they vote NO on SB 402. You might begin your calls/emails with something like this: “My name is [NAME] and I live in [HOME CITY]. I am calling/writing to express my concerns about SB 402. This bill punishes Georgia’s poor and most marginalized populations.” You can target your comments to the below legislators (just copy and paste the addresses and send a mass email!)