This semester, the Criminal Law and Policy class researched the way bail operates in Santa Clara County. The class discovered that individuals that have been arrested and taken to the main jail do not have access to information about own recognizance release during the booking process. While there are advertisements for commercial bail companies, there is nothing posted in “the tank” to explain to people that they might not need to pay to be released before the conclusion of their case. I wrote about the potential problems this could cause for people accused of a misdemeanor crime who are entitled to own recognizance release absent an express finding from the court that other terms of release should be imposed.
After learning about this problem, my colleague Ruby Renteria and I decided to create a document that would explain to individuals their potential eligibility for citation and release or own recognizance release that could be posted in the tank. We made the sheet below available to the Bail and Release Work Group and it was circulated during their last meeting. We hope that this marks the beginning of the process to make this sheet available to the individuals in need of this information.
Click here to view the Own Recognizance Release Information Sheet.