FAIRFAX (AP) A Northern Virginia judge may be the first in the area to do away with cash bonds.
Fairfax County Judge David Bernhard is granting freedom to defendants not deemed a danger or flight risk, The Washington Post reported June 14. Bernhard has been moving away from cash bonds for about a year but announced his stance publicly this week.
Bernhard has embraced a criminal-justice reform movement aimed at practices that disadvantage the poor, the paper said. Cash bond critics say it creates a tiered justice system, with the haves being released and the have-nots languishing in jail.
Bernhard says cash bonds have a cascading effect and can cause people to lose their jobs and housing. Supporters of cash bonds say they provide incentives to attend court.