Justice for All: Bail reform in Northeast Ohio

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Bail amounts in DUI cases can vary widely by court

Making bail in Cuyahoga County: A study in inconsistency

Peter Krouse and Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

cleveland.com examines these inequities as part of Impact 2016: Justice for All, a series that highlights issues with the bail systems used in Cuyahoga County and reports on courts with fairer systems. Continue reading.

Cuyahoga County top Judge Russo says he's ready to examine bail reform

Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

Cuyahoga County's top judge, John J. Russo, will take a close look at bail reform, and has invited other key players in the justice system to work with him, he told cleveland.com reporters and editors in an interview Thursday. Continue reading.

Cleveland Municipal Court aims to reform bail system by end of the year

Sara Dorn & Peter Krouse, cleveland.com

Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald Adrine wants to move fast to change a bail system that needlessly keeps some defendants in jail because of their inability to pay for their release. Continue reading.

Cuyahoga County top judge debates need for bail reform

Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

Cuyahoga County spends millions of taxpayer dollars every year jailing defendants accused of low-level crimes while their cases are resolved in court, simply because they cannot afford to pay bail. Continue reading.

Suddenly, Cuyahoga County justice reform is likely because of Judge John. J. Russo

Chris Quinn, cleveland.com

The chief judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, John J. Russo, visited with our Editorial Board and told us that he sent invitations Wednesday to everyone with a stake in the justice system to join him in an effort to improve it. Continue reading.

Reaction to "Justice for All" is mandate for Cuyahoga County court reform

Chris Quinn, cleveland.com

Rarely have we seen momentum build as quickly for a movement as we have over the last two weeks regarding reform of the Cuyahoga County bail system, so that people are treated the same regardless of wealth and so that taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently. Continue reading.

Victims of Bail

The personal stories of people who couldn't afford bail

Peter Krouse, cleveland.com

Today, we look at the human side of the issue. We are rolling out vignettes about some of the people who have languished in jail because of their inability to make bail. Continue reading.

Lyndhurst man who can't afford bail waits 4 days to answer drunken jaywalking charge

Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

Cuyahoga Thomas Stepien spent four days in jail in April on a drunken jaywalking charge. Continue reading.

Shaker Heights jailed this traffic offender for a week because he couldn't pay bail

Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

Wright couldn't afford the $715 he needed to get out of jail after he was arrested for skipping out on payments and court hearings for a 2014 traffic ticket in the Shaker Heights Municipal Court. Continue reading.

Suspect in underwear theft jailed for eight days because he can't afford bail

Peter Krouse, cleveland.com

Airrick Dotson spent eight days in this suburb's jail waiting to see a judge on a charge of stealing $12.95 worth of underwear. Continue reading.

The Solution

Justice Center commentary 

Bail made fair in the District of Columbia

Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

Cuyahoga County has for years discussed ways to make its justice system more fair, efficient and cost-effective. Cleveland.com went to Washington, D.C. to see a highly regarded criminal justice system that frees many criminal defendants without making them post bail. Continue reading.

How D.C. court reforms save $398 million

Peter Krouse, cleveland.com

Washington, D.C. saves $398 million per year in jail costs by releasing 85 percent of defendants without having them pay bail. We traveled to D.C. to see how the no-money bail system works and here we answer questions about D.C.'s court reforms. Continue reading.


bail reform meeting.jpeg 

Shaker Heights Judge K.J. Montgomery to meet with councils, mayors on bail reform

Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

Judge K. J. Montgomery said Thursday that she plans to talk with council members and mayors of the five municipalities served by her court about potential reform of the bail system. Continue reading.

Bedford Municipal Court planning bail reform

Peter Krouse, cleveland.com

Bedford Municipal Court plans to change its longstanding bail policy so that defendants won't have to pay as much to be free on bond, and will have a greater incentive to make their scheduled court appearances. Continue reading.

Bail reform is coming to Indiana

Sara Dorn, cleveland.com

Where we stand at mid-year on cleveland.com's Impact 2016 strategy

Chris Quinn, cleveland.com

Here is where we stand at mid-year on Impact 2016, five areas where the cleveland.com watchdog and advocacy team is focused this year. Continue reading.

The Latest Stories

Cuyahoga County jail inmate.JPGCuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney is the latest local leader to call for criminal justice reform after a cleveland.com series published Monday examining potential inequities in the county bail system. (Sara Dorn, cleveland.com)