They were arrested but didn’t go to court: Does Atlanta’s bail reform lack justice?

The city of Atlanta is trusting potential shoplifters, pot users and illegal drivers to return to court, requiring nothing but their signature to get out of jail.

(excerpt from The Reveal March 26 2019)


ATLANTA — Donna Smitherman sits in clear view of the Atlanta Detention Center as she talks about her arrests.

“I don’t want back in there, ever,” she said, with a chuckle.

Smitherman said she’s always had a job and roof over her head, until last year. She moved to Atlanta with her husband to take a job rehabbing an apartment complex. Part of their pay included housing in one of the units. But she said one day, the owner showed up with news -- he’d decided to sell the building instead.

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