AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House voted Monday afternoon to advance Senate Bill 6, which will keep more people in jail who cannot afford money bail.
Over 60% of people in Texas jails have not been convicted of a crime. The proposed law prohibits release from jail for certain people without first paying a bondsman or putting up cash. This imposes an absolute bar on release for people who are too poor to afford their bail, while allowing identically-situated people with money to purchase their liberty. Under the bill, more innocent people will plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit and more poor people will sit in jail awaiting trial.
The following quote can be attributed to Nick Hudson, policy and advocacy strategist at the ACLU of Texas:
“This bill is a giveaway to the bail industry masquerading as a public safety proposal. This bill will not make Texas meaningfully safer. SB 6 will make it harder for poor Texans to get out of jail while continuing to allow wealthy Texans to buy their freedom — regardless of how dangerous they are. That’s neither safety nor justice. Texas once distinguished itself as a leader on criminal justice reform. Our money bail system is broken and must be fixed, not expanded to line the pockets of the for-profit bail industry.”