The amount of bail depends on the severity of the crime. Scott-Hayward and Fradella (2019) note that bail for offenses classified as felonies is five to ten times the bail required for misdemeanors. Thus, the amount of bail increases when the crime is more severe and dangerous. I support the idea that the “dangerousness” a person might pose to the community should be considered as a factor in deciding whether bail should be set.
Indeed, there are cases when a person, although he or she has broken the law, has not harmed anyone and admits his guilt. As a result, he may be assigned a low bail. On the contrary, the more serious the severity of the crime, the more a person must pay to suffer financial punishment. This applies to non-violent crimes such as theft. If a person has committed violence or a repeated crime, the person should generally be denied the opportunity to post bail because he or she is a danger to society.
There are many advocates for the most stringent restrictions on forced bail and a reduction in the number of prisoners subject to bail. The most frequently cited argument is that allowing bail significantly harms public safety. However, Monaghan et al. (2020) prove that such a phenomenon is improbable. Many opponents of bail reform believe that allowing bail will reduce the number of arrests who appear in court, and Monaghan et al. (2020) test this belief by analyzing randomly selected crime cases in Orleans County. The result was that the risk of escape of those arrested on bail is minimal. The results show that reducing or eliminating cash collateral does not significantly impact public safety.
On the other hand, the European Court of Human Rights analyzes not only the interests of justice but also the private interest of a person subjected to criminal prosecution and tries to find an optimal balance between them. According to Scott-Hayward and Fradella (2019), restraint of liberty should only be applied when no other measure is in effect; it should be the exception, not the rule. It comes from the fact that freedom is a natural state, and any restriction must be justified.
Monaghan, J., van Holm, E. J., & Surprenant, C. W. (2020). Get jailed, jump bail? The impacts of cash bail on failure to appear and re-arrest in Orleans Parish. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 47, 56–74.
Scott-Hayward, C. S. & Fradella, H. F. (2019). Punishing poverty: How bail and pretrial detention fuel inequalities in the criminal justice system. University of California Press.