Consensus brewing to end cash bail in Philadelphia

How Philly plans to ditch cash bail and what stands in the way

Democratic candidate for district attorney Larry Krasner has a plan to get rid of cash bail. He’s not the only game in town. Josh Glenn was just 16 when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, charged as an adult and thrown in a Philadelphia jail cell.

In 2 years, Philadelphia reduced its prison population by 18 percent

Philly slashed its jail population by almost 20 percent in just 2 years

And city officials are only partway toward their goal. On an average day, there are about 1,500 fewer inmates in the Philadelphia prison system than there were just two years ago. Philadelphia still has the highest incarceration rate per capita of the top 10 largest American cities.

Seventeen percent of Philadelphia inmates living with serious mental illness

Can Pennsylvania find a way out for thousands of mentally ill inmates languishing in county jails?

Bruce Herdman, chief of medical operations for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, sometimes describes the county jails this way: “This is the largest psychiatric hospital in the state of Pennsylvania.” Forty percent of Philadelphia inmates are on psychotropic medications; 17 percent have what’s considered a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

Thousands locked up in Philadelphia because they can’t afford bail

Locked up for being poor: Can next Philly DA fix the bail mess?

Joshua Glenn was 16 and facing some serious charges – and but he was determined to fight them. Sent away to Philadelphia’s notorious 19th-Century-built House of Correction on charges including aggravated assault and attempted murder rap by a DA’s office that wanted to try Glenn as adult, the teenager believed in his innocence, rejecting a plea deal that might have sent him home, on probation.

Philadelphia prison populations are declining; reformers say more to come

Has a bold reform plan helped to shrink Philly’s prison population?

Back in January, Municipal Court Judge Marsha Neifield was undertaking a radical experiment in criminal-justice reform from the otherwise drab confines of an 11th-floor courtroom in the Criminal Justice Center. There were no major criminal cases on her docket – just addicts, small-time drug dealers, and a man accused of stealing a power drill from inside a car.