How our broken bail system punishes domestic-abuse survivors — and empowers abusers

Eesha Pandit @ Salon; excerpt below:

Bresha [Meadow]’s case also draws attention to the damage that pretrial detention can cause. As noted in the Department of Justice’s Ferguson Report, some court systems fail to give credit for time served before trial. For a teenager like Bresha, the impact of that could be devastating.

Trina Greene Brown, founder of Parenting for Liberation, expressed concern in an interview that Bresha was “being re-traumatized while incarcerated.” If her case stays in juvenile court, Bresha could be remanded to detention until age 21 if she is convicted of murder. “If her case is moved to adult court,” Brown said, “she could face life behind bars.”

Bresha Meadows’ case goes a long way toward illuminating the disparities in the criminal justice system, showing us who is considered innocent until proven guilty and who is criminalized without due process. Brown observes that the system failed Bresha twice. “Bresha’s case reminds us that the criminal justice system is unjust when it comes to black girls. This system was never established to save and protect black girls. It has failed Bresha and many other survivors of color … who were not provided proper protection, forced to defend themselves, then punished.”

Read full article here.

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