A couple of weeks ago, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners passed ordinance 18-0695, which claims to reform the use of cash bail. However, the law doesn’t really change the way the county uses cash bail at all. This means people will still be in jail just because they can’t afford to pay their way out.
We need to mobilize to encourage the commission to amend this ordinance to truly end cash bail before the law becomes effective on November 1st.
How can you help?
Come on out to the County Commission meeting
Go to the Fulton County Commission meeting on October 17th at 10:00am and either speak during public comments or show solidarity with the others there to speak! The ACLU is organizing an effort to organize around the meeting. RSVP HERE!
Can’t make it to the meeting?
Call, write, or post a message on social media so your commissioners hear your voice!See below for contact information for your Fulton County Commissioners and sample language for outreach.
Fulton County Commission Contacts
|Chairman Robb Pitts (sponsor)||email@example.com|
|Commissioner Liz Hausmann (absent)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Vice Chairman Bob Ellis
|Commissioner Lee Morris (abstained)||email@example.com|
|Commissioner Natalie Hall
|Commissioner Marvin Arrington (voted YES)||404-613-0200||Marvin.Arrington@fultoncountyga.gov|
|Commissioner Emma Darnell
Sample call or email script
“Hi, my name is [Name] and I live in Fulton County [only say this if you do live here]. I have major concerns about ordinance 18-0695, the so-called “Pre-Trial Freedom Act,” that the Fulton County Commission passed on October 3rd2018. Cash bail is a classist policy in Fulton County which forces people to stay in jail solely because they cannot pay their way out. When you passed 18-0695, I want to believe that you were trying to solve this problem and end cash bail, but the ordinance does not fix the problem and might have actually made things worse. I was shocked to learn that the commission passed this legislation without input from community groups and specifically from people who are directly impacted by this legislation. The Fulton County Board of Commissioners can and should amend this ordinance to truly eliminate cash bail. Thank you for your time.”
Here are some of the major problems with the law that was passed on October 3rd. You can use these in your calls or emails:
- Cash bail remains intact so people who have not been convicted of a crime can still be jailed just because they can’t pay for their freedom.
- People who can’t pay bail can remain in jail for up to 30 days before a court must reconsider the bail amount.
- The ordinance is unconstitutional because it allows magistrate courts to impose onerous bail amounts.
- There are no opportunities to support people so that they can make their court dates and not go back to jail.
- The county said it is committed to the health, safety, and general welfare of Fulton County, but did not require an extensive study of the needs of those being incarcerated Here is a suggested email but write what feels most comfortable