Make sure to tell your friends in other districts to call their state legislators, too. Don’t know who your legislators are? Find out here.
One of the few good things Gov. Nathan Deal did in office was support criminal justice reform. Now our local representatives are trying to roll back his advances. House Bill 340, co-sponsored by Houston Gaines and Marcus Wiedower, would essentially outlaw own-recognizance (OR) bond, meaning that all bail would require cash or the services of a bondsman. It’s not hard to figure out who’s pushing for this law. All you have to do is follow the money. Even Gov. Deal recognized that cash bail strains the justice system, resulting in no greater safety for the public and incarcerating a huge percentage of people not yet convicted of any crime due to their inability to pay to be released while awaiting trial. Cash bail is nothing more than another punishment for poverty and a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the wealthy. Need more arguments? You can read our primer on bail reform here.
Personalized calls are more effective than multiple calls reading the same script, so express your personal feelings frankly! Here is an example script that you can build off of or use:
Hello, My name is [NAME], calling from [CITY]. I’m calling to ask you to oppose/remove your support for House Bill 340. This bill rolls back Gov. Deal’s criminal justice reform package. It punishes poor people who haven’t even been convicted of crimes, does not make the public any safer, removes local control and further stresses the criminal justice system. It only benefits the bail bond industry. Thank you for the chance to share my concerns.
Feel free to modify the script, depending on whom you’re calling.
Please contact your legislators TODAY. TELL THEM: Stop supporting cash bail!
Thanks for caring,
Legislative Action NetworkAthens for Everyone
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