David discusses bail reform with John Raphling. Even though his new report covers only California, his findings have applicability to all of the USA. According to him bail creates a huge barrier to justice for the poor. Among other problems, judges have a very different attitude to someone who shows up in prison garb versus someone who comes showered and suited, having been able to investigate their own case and even start working on the problem that got them into trouble in the first place (such as drug or alcohol use). The privatization of bail in the US has also created a huge financial industry that preys upon people not wealthy enough to raise the entire bail amount themselves. Some supposed solutions to the problem, such as profile-based risk assessment aren’t real improvements, according to John. And he explains why eliminating bail entirely isn’t a problem-free solution either. It’s a surprisingly interesting topic, and the discussion is thought provoking. On the positive side, there is a growing desire across the political spectrum to improve the situation.