California Gov. Jerry Brown has championed legislation and ballot measures downgrading drug crimes, expanding chances of early release for prisoners and easing punishment for juvenile offenders.
On Tuesday, he ushered in one of the most sweeping criminal justice reforms of his administration, signing a bill abolishing the state’s current money bail system, and replacing it with one that grants judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated ahead of trial.
The legislation virtually eliminates the payment of money as a condition of release. Under last-minute changes to the proposal, judges will have greater power to decide which people are a danger to the community and should be held without possibility of release in a practice known as “preventive detention.”….