Prop 25: End the cash-bail system


Mandy Wong

Prop 25 eliminates the need for people to pay bail to be released from jail.

Mandy Wong, Senior Editor


Proposition 25 is a referendum on SB (Senate Bill) 10. California voters are called upon to decide if they want to keep or reject SB 10. SB 10 eliminates the need for people to pay bail to be released from county jail prior to trial. 


A “yes” on Proposition 25 puts SB 10 into effect. The major changes Proposition 25/SB 10 makes are elimination of pretrial release on bail, creation of a new process for release before arraignment, and change to the existing process for release at arraignment. 

Specifically, before arraignment, most people placed in county jail for minor misdemeanors, would automatically be released within 12 hours of being jailed. Those jailed for felonies and other misdemeanors would be scored on a risk assessment to determine if they can be released.  At arraignment, people would generally be released on OR. 

Proponents of Proposition 25 mainly advocate for the ending of the bail system. Bail keeps those who are unable to afford it in jail, even for minor offenses. 

“Prop 25 will end an unfair money bail system where poor people charged with low-level offenses stay in jail, but the wealthy get out – because they have money to pay,” said Sam Lewis, a man who was formerly incarcerated and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.


A “no” on Proposition 25 overturns SB 10 and keeps the current pretrial system. People would be released from jail on OR or through payment of bail. 

Opponents of Proposition 25 criticize the use of an algorithm to determine whether or not someone should stay in county jail or be charged bail to be released.

“Prop 25 will be even more discriminatory against African-Americans, Latinos, and other minorities. Computer models may be good for recommending songs and movies, but using these profiling methods to decide who gets released from jail or who gets a loan has been proven to hurt communities of color,” said Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).