Blacks more likely to remain jailed in Philly until trial, study

It boils down to who can afford to post bail.

Meek Mill
Meek Mill attends the 4th Annual TIDAL X: Brooklyn at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TIDAL)

A new analysis of the criminal justice system in Philadelphia, Pa., reveals some not so shocking news about how race plays a role in how long an individual will remain locked up until trial, according to

Racial bias within the criminal justice system is well documented across the nation and Philly seems to be winning at the incarceration hustle when it comes to the racial gap in pretrial detention, the report says.

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The report states that Black defendants awaiting trial remain jailed at a rate 25 percent higher than white offenders. The reason basically boils down to who can afford to post bail.

According to Megan Stevenson, assistant professor of law at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., a large number of Black defendants typically remain jailed for days when they have to post bond as low as $1000 (of which they have to pay only $100). When bail amounts are set higher, white defendants are far more likely to easily have available the deposit money needed to go free.

Philly native Meek Mill is on a mission to flip the script.

He recently introduced a new bill to lawmakers that seeks to prevent parolees and probationers from getting trapped in the criminal justice system for non-violent offenses.

Meek’s bill focuses on reforming technical violations similar to what landed him back in jail in November 2017, over a nearly decade-old gun and drug case, REFORM Alliance noted in the release

Meanwhile, Stevenson noted in a report about the justice system in Philadelphia and other jurisdictions that pretrial detainment can lead to an “increase in the likelihood of pleading guilty” as well as “an increase in the expected sentence length and court fees” including the additional longer-term effects we often see in those who find it challenging trying to acclimate back into society following incarceration.

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