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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Dispatches from the North Carolina court system: The cash bail-jail paradox

Jordan needed an unsecured bond, or he wasn’t getting out of jail. The 24-year-old Black man had been arrested on Oct. 8, charged with possessing drug paraphernalia, trespassing, resisting a public officer, and failing to show up for a court hearing, allegations that kept him in jail on a bond he couldn’t afford. The couple thousand dollars it would cost to get that bond threatened his livelihood, a job at a pizza shop. Jordan was caught in a paradox familiar to people locked up pretrial in a money bail system: unable to work because he was in jail, but unable to get out of jail because he can’t work.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Dispatches from the North Carolina court system: Guilford County’s ‘jail docket’

Shaletta Ryans went to court Monday afternoon without even having to leave jail. She appeared in a Guilford County courtroom via a live video feed, her image beaming onto five computer screens in front of prosecutors, a public defender and a judge. She didn’t say much, but the courtroom’s speakers rattled with the sound of chains, the cacophonous soundtrack of jail.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: Criminal justice reforms in two NC judicial districts show promise

Tool allows magistrates to make more effective decisions on when to impose bail requirements The UNC School of Government's Criminal Justice Innovation Lab released two reports last month detailing the results of  pretrial procedure reforms piloted in two judicial districts: Forsyth County...

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