Norfolk prosecutor plans to end cash bail in many cases
NORFOLK — The top prosecutor in Norfolk says his office will end cash bail in many cases.
The changes in Virginia’s second-largest city are an effort to avoid the “criminalization of poverty” while making the system fairer for people of color, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
“If you’re poor and you happen to be black, then chances are your rate of incarceration is higher,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood. He said bail shouldn’t “needlessly” make a defendant’s life harsher than it should be.
Someone charged with a misdemeanor can be released without putting up bail. Someone accused of a felony can be released without bond under certain conditions like pretrial supervision. Defendants would still be subject to cash bail in cases of domestic violence, felony violence, stalking and other violent crimes.