Thu., September 10, 2009 12:49pm (EDT)

Increased Bail Equals Crowded Jails
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 5 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Back in 2004 someone snatching a purse in Macon had to put up $12,000 to get out of jail. In 2009 posting bond for that same crime will cost you nearly five times as much. (photo courtesy Ian Britton)
Back in 2004 someone snatching a purse in Macon had to put up $12,000 to get out of jail. In 2009 posting bond for that same crime will cost you nearly five times as much. (photo courtesy Ian Britton)
Macon's increased bail rates are increasing the population at the local jail.

Many inmates can't afford to pay their way out.

Back in 2004 someone snatching a purse in Macon had to put up $12,000 to get out of jail. In 2009 posting bond for that same crime will cost you nearly five times as much.

In May Bibb County revised the list of suggested amounts for certain crimes.

Those changes made it impossible for many inmates to post bond.

More than 100 are sitting in jail because they cannot afford to get out.

Now the county has decided to roll back bail to 2004 prices.

The jail is near capacity. If the county does not reduce the number of inmates, they could be placed under federal oversight and ordered to add more beds.

In 2007 Bibb County opened a new, multi-million dollar wing to the jail, adding more than 250 beds. That ended 20 years of federal oversight.

Many official neighborhood watch groups in Macon say lowering bail will only increase crime.


Contributors: Staff and wire reports