Philadelphia Bail Watch Report

Illustration of a person behind bars on a monitor

Philadelphia Bail Watch Report

Findings and Recommendations based on 611 Bail Hearings

Presented by the Philadelphia Bail Fund & Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

October 15, 2018

The Philadelphia Bail Fund and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts launched Philadelphia Bail Watch in April 2018 in order to shine a light on the city's preliminary arraignment process.

Philadelphia Bail Watch is a volunteer court watch initiative that invites members of the public to observe preliminary arraignment hearings - the first stage of a criminal case in Philadelphia - in order to learn about the process and provide their perceptions of what they witness. By collecting and sharing the public's perceptions of Philadelphia's preliminary arraignment process, the Philadelphia Bail Fund and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts seek to monitor the current process and advocate for improvements in Philadelphia's arraignment process.

This report summarizes the feedback of more than 75 volunteers who observed over 500 bail hearings between April 19, 2018 and August 31 2018. the report also outlines recommendations for developing a more humane and dignified pretrial process.

Click here to read the full report.

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