LEHIGH VALLEY, PA – The Lehigh Valley Justice Institute, in conjunction with the Lehigh County Bar Association, will be holding a virtual forum on the issue of cash bail on Thursday, April 29, 2021. The Forum will explore ways in which our community can implement some of the reforms instituted several years ago in the state of New Jersey, moving toward the elimination of the cash aspect of bail.
Panelists will include The Honorable Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D., Director of the Administrative Office of the New Jersey Courts; Roseanne Scotti, Esquire, long time bail reform advocate and Past Director or the New Jersey Drug Policy Alliance; and Alex Domingos, a Smart Justice organizer for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. The panel will be moderated by Gary N. Asteak, Esquire, a criminal defense attorney for the past 47 years, and an Assistant Public Defender for over 25 years.
The forum is open to the public for free. Registration is required through the LVJI website, www.LVJI.org. As it is being offered in conjunction with the Lehigh County Bar Association, attorneys attending may receive 2 hours of Continuing Legal Education credit if they register with the Lehigh County Bar at firstname.lastname@example.org and pay a $20 fee.
LVJI Executive Director Joe Welsh urges all interested residents to attend the forum. “The antiquated notion of requiring someone to post cash to ‘buy’ their freedom, at a time in which they are presumed innocent, is something our communities can no longer afford. Even a few days behind bars can result in a person losing their job, their family losing a wage-earner, and, ultimately, our entire community suffering. When families fail, communities fail. I urge everyone to tune into our forum and learn what we can do.” Welsh said.
Several years ago, New Jersey passed groundbreaking legislation to overhaul its bail laws and practices. Reform efforts have received a broad base of support, evidenced by the support of then-Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor.
LVJI is an independent, nonpartisan research, policy, and advocacy organization working toward a re-imagined justice system which is equitable and fair for all out communities.
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