PRESS RELEASE: GBPI Releases Statement on Governor’s Signing of SB 63 Expanding Mandatory Cash Bail

GEORGIA – Governor Brian Kemp has signed into law legislation that significantly broadens the scope of offenses necessitating cash bail for release from jail. The legislation, signed on Wednesday, introduces dozens of new offenses that now require cash bail, including criminal trespassing and two or more instances of failing to appear in court for a traffic citation.

In response to the signing of SB 63, GBPI’s Senior Analyst for Worker Justice and Criminal Legal Systems Ray Khalfani issued the following statement:

“Governor Kemp’s signing of SB 63 to expand mandatory cash bail, is a significant step backward for Georgians. This legislation exacerbates inequalities within our criminal legal system, further shifting criminal legal system costs onto those struggling with poverty and communities of color.

By reducing safeguards and expanding the criminalization of offenses linked to poverty, such as criminal trespassing, often charged against the unhoused, and penalizing minor infractions like missing court dates, SB 63 worsens economic hardships for Georgians. This legislation also perpetuates criminal legal system abuses that often begin with an inability to pay court fines and fees, ensnaring more Georgians in the criminal legal system due to their inability to afford justice.”

Adding another layer to the issue are expanding methods to criminalize actions associated with protesting for a better democracy, such as better jobs or a fair criminal legal system. GBPI believes SB 63 allows for further exploitation of workers and weakens labor standards crucial for a prosperous economy and society.


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