Phila. Controller Says City Can Save $75M Yearly By Axing Cash Bail


Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz on Wednesday announced that the city could save $75 million every year by eliminating cash bail for low-level offenders, freeing up funds that would be spent on incarcerating the poor.

In a report released by the Controller’s Office, Butkovitz said cutting cash bail would reduce the prison population from more than 6,500 to less than 4,700. By doing that, the city could close the House of Corrections and the Detention Center, saving the $75 million annually minus the potential cash bail payments.

... The idea of eliminating cash bail in Philadelphia has become a high-profile issue in recent times. One notable proponent is Democratic District Attorney candidate Larry Krasner, who has made overhauling the cash bail system a focus of his campaign, along with other reforms such as seeking lower sentencing schemes and never seeking the death penalty during his tenure.

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    Administration Calls Out Errors in Phila. Controller's Report on Cutting Cash Bail
    Philadelphia Controller Alan Butkovitz's recent report claiming the city can save $75 million annually by eliminating cash bail for low-level offenders contains key errors, according to a member of Mayor Jim Kenney's administration.

    Philly criminal justice officials in ‘damage control’ mode following cash bail report
    Leaders touching every corner of Philadelphia’s criminal justice apparatus — Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration, the city Department of Prisons, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, the Defender Association and the District Attorney’s Office — claimed Butkovitz’ office didn’t reach out to key criminal justice stakeholders for accurate information before publishing the report.