bail

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hamilton county justice center
Ann Thompson / WVXU

The bail system is meant to ensure an individual appears in court after he or she is charged with a crime and to promote public safety. But some research shows requiring cash bail keeps many individuals locked up simply because they can't afford to pay, and that it does not make society safer.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor has assembled a task force to examine how judges set bail for people charged with crimes. The group had its first meeting Wednesday.

O’Connor is asking the task force to look at how bail is set in other states and to talk about possible changes to Ohio’s rules.

The chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court says there’s a growing movement across the nation to reform the pre-trial justice system. 

John Minton, Jr. says the current method of setting bail disproportionately affects low-income defendants who aren’t able to pay for release after being charged with low-level, non-violent offenses.

“We don’t need to lose sight of the number one, bedrock principle and that is the presumption of innocence operates in every case, so that presumption does not need to be lost," Minton told WKU Public Radio.