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March 2017
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Cleveland Connects: Justice for All

April 3, 2017

Prisons, and prison reform, get a lot of attention when it comes to the subject of criminal justice. But another crucial piece of the justice reform puzzle are the monetary penalties that keep people locked up, stuck within the system, and unable to get back to normal life. Fines, fees, and bail schedules—among other forces—systematically undermine a poor person’s ability to break the cycle of incarceration. These financial penalties all have one thing in common: they don’t consider a defendant’s ability to pay. This results in many people—upwards 60% of the counties’ average daily jail population—staying in jail for days, weeks, even months at a time, all because they can’t post bail or afford a lawyer. This pretrial incarceration can have devastating ripple effects for the defendant, including loss of employment, housing, and child custody. In addition, high debt burdens incurred from the legal system can be a stumbling block for offenders reentering society. There is considerable regional and national attention to this issue right now, as Ohio joins many other states in exploring effective strategies for bail reform. Building upon coverage begun last year by Cleveland.com and ideastream, including town halls with Tavis Smiley broadcast last year on WVIZ/PBS and WCPN 90.3 FM—content partners ideastream and Cleveland.com will host Cleveland Connects: Justice for All this April to continue the community conversation on the economic unfairness baked into the justice system. What changes have been enacted in Northeast Ohio courts and what impact are they having in our communities? What can we learn from municipalities at the forefront of change? Are statewide changes coming?


Featured Events

Tuesday 3/28
Life, the Universe & Hot Dogs: Water

Wednesday 3/29
thru Sun Apr 9

Thursday 3/30
Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend
thru Sun Apr 2

Friday 3/31
Hamlet - Produced by Great Lakes Theater
thru Sat Apr 15

Saturday 4/1
Moondog Coronation Ball

View All Featured

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