SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The state of cash bail in California is up to the voters this November, but some are arguing those who are paying bail right now in Sacramento County are victims of domestic violence themselves.
Topo Padilla, of Greg Padilla Bail Bonds, told FOX40 he believes the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an uptick in the number of domestic violence arrests in Sacramento County.
“Yes, unfortunately, during these COVID times, which are very obviously new and strange to all of us, we did see an uptick in domestic violence, which is a great tragedy. That’s not something we relish in the bail industry,” Padilla said. “People are home a lot more than they have been together. Spouses, families, there’s a lot of tension. If anybody says, ‘No, everything has been great,’ they’re lying to you.”
Nikki Paschal, with the “Yes on Prop 25” campaign, said it is domestic violence victims who end up paying the bail for those arrests.
“The abusers are, you know, are pressuring the victims to put up the bail and that’s really unfortunate,” Paschal said “That’s really why we need to get this industry out of California.”
That’s why Paschal said Proposition 25, which would eliminate cash bail in California, is needed.
“Decisions about who stays in jail or who can be released before someone has their day in court are based entirely on how much money they have in their wallet,” Paschal explained.
She adds the reform will create a fairer system that doesn’t base freedom on the ability to pay but on the public safety risk of the defendant because the proposition replaces bail with risk assessments for detained suspects awaiting trials.
Padilla said Proposition 25 is a bad idea, arguing the change does not guarantee the suspects return to court.
“If we want a criminal justice system to work, we have to have people appear in court,” Padilla said.
He said he believes lowering the bail schedules is the answer.
“We got here because the bail schedules in California are obnoxious. They are the highest in the country. They’re out of control and they just keep climbing,” Padilla explained. “Since 2008, my group and the bail industry has been working to get bail schedules lowered, and only to be told by the legislature and judges and everybody else in the criminal justice system we can’t do that. We cannot be seen as being weak on crime.”
Voters will decided on Proposition 25 in less than a month.