Although violent crime is at historic lows, Arizona still has the 6th highest incarceration rate in the U.S. and the highest of all western states. In fact, 80% of the inmates held in the Pima County jail are there on pretrial status, meaning that they have yet to be convicted of a crime and will not be released until they pay a cash bond. Here in Tucson, courts typically impose a cash bond of $1100 or less. Yet this relatively small sum is often beyond the ability of many people to pay, and it is keeping them locked behind bars – away from their families, unable to keep their jobs, and more likely to plead guilty just to get out of jail.

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