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Scott Hechinger @ScottHech
, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Another thing about cash bail in New York City: Even when those few clients of mine *can actually afford to pay for their freedom, they still get stuck on Rikers because of ridiculous obstacles like, for example, broken fax machines.
Yes, Rikers island still runs on fax machines. FAX MACHINES. Person at bail pay window must fax handwritten receipt to Rikers. Then Rikers faxes back. If theres no one at fax machine on Rikers, have to wait. Last week, machine was broken. No one released.…
In the wake of the broken fax machine making news (public defenders have been screaming about this for years), city announced a new online bail system, BUT you still need online access AND a credit card. Out of reach for many of my clients & their…
Phones always get confiscated by police after arrest before being brought to court without the opportunity to write down important phone numbers. No one memorizes phone numbers any more. My clients can’t get in touch with family members or friends for help paying bail.
There are no ATMs in most NYC courthouses. If bail’s set, there’s limited time before they get thrown on bus to Rikers. Leaving to find cash takes too long. For defendants themselves: there is no way to pay your own bail. Even if you have a debit card.…
Last year, I along with other public defenders & bail funds testified about other obstacles like: not allowing family to pay *until their loved one made it thru intake* at Rikers some 12-24 hours later, & then having to wait days sometimes for them to be released after payment.
Here’s a solution that’s within reach: Instead of spending a fortune on better technology to allow families to pay already-scrapped-together funds to pay for freedom more seamlessly, while the majority still wallow in jail bc of their poverty, let’s CLOSE RIKERS & END CASH BAIL.
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