No cash, no freedom: Bail means jail for W. MI’s poor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Chandra Amaya could have bought her freedom if she had $100; instead, she sat in the Kent County jail for 33 days on a misdemeanor larceny charge.

That’s more time than that charge sometimes carries upon conviction.

“I’ve pretty much lost everything,” Amaya told Target 8. “They told me I had to have a $100 bond because I have a job so I should be able to pay it.”

But Amaya couldn’t post the $100 she needed to get out of jail while her case made its way through court. She has since lost her job as a child care worker, one of many negative consequences that often accompany jail stays.

“You can imagine pretty quickly all the cascading failures that come out of sitting in jail,” state Rep. David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids, said.

“If you’re sitting in jail and you’re a renter and you lose your job, you’re probably going to lose not just your job, but you’re also going to lose your housing,” he added.

Full Story: WOOD TV

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