Columbus Attorney Orders End to Cash Bond for Minor Crimes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The attorney for Ohio’s capital city has ordered prosecutors to stop asking for cash bonds for minor, nonviolent crimes to reduce jail populations.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein says it’s time to address over-incarceration and overcrowded jails. Klein says the U.S. jails a disproportionate number of people compared to other countries.

Klein says wealthier defendants can post bonds that sometimes run hundreds of dollars, while poorer defendants are forced to remain in jail. That can lead to job losses and can affect defendants’ families.

Klein last week ordered Columbus city prosecutors to stop requesting cash bonds for most misdemeanor defendants charged with nonviolent crimes.

Prosecutors will still ask for cash bonds for violent crimes, sex offenses and drunken driving.