ARCADIA, CA - The City of Arcadia has signed on to an injunction to halt the new zero bail
schedule, which will take effect on October 1, 2023, for all criminal courts in Los Angeles County. Under the new schedule, suspects arrested for non-violent felonies and misdemeanors will be immediately released without bail. The list of non-violent crimes is extensive and includes theft, vandalism, drug sales, forgery, false imprisonment, burglaries, and shoplifting.
With the new schedules, protocols surrounding the release of suspects are limited to three
options: cite and release; book and release; and magistrate review. For a citation or jail booking, immediate release without bail is granted in conjunction with a date to appear in court that could be many months away. The third option, magistrate review, will involve a judge determining release terms and conditions for suspects involved in more dangerous cases, like crimes against children, intent to commit sexual offense, cases involving guns, and sexual battery. It is not clear how the magistrate review process will be implemented or what measures will be taken to ensure the safety of the public, while those accused of serious crimes await their trial dates.
"Arcadia invests heavily into making our community a safe and welcoming environment, and the zero bail policy has the potential to reverse so much of our good work. We support smart policies that balance individual liberties with public welfare but have not seen a viable plan for making sure that happens here," said City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto. "The risk of serious harm and potential for increased crime are too high to implement this sweeping change."
Arcadia is part of the growing coalition supporting the City of Whittier's request to postpone
implementation of the new schedules. Cities behind the temporary restraining order hope the
courts will be required to develop a clear method for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the
public. Arcadia wants more assurances and to suspend implementation until a better solution
can be reached. City of Whittier, et al. v. Superior Court of the State of California, et al., was filed Friday, September 29, 2023, with the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County.