Since the 1970s, Philadelphia Rule of Criminal Procedure 528 allowed courts to keep 3% of total bail posted by defendants, even if they appeared at all hearings required by their bail bond. This October amendment ensures that defendants will receive 100% of their posted bail after their case is closed.
The city had received about $3 million each year from the bail fee. According to Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, the loss of $2 million in revenue was negated by cost savings from reducing the city’s jail population through other reforms, while the remaining $1 million was replaced by legislative appropriations.
We hope the First Judicial District will continue to make changes to waive all court fines and fees for individuals who do not have the ability to pay, while also conducting a thorough and meaningful investigation into a person’s ability to pay before assigning bail or charging fees. –Joint statement from #No215Jail Coalition and Philadelphia Community Bail Fund