DELTA COUNTY– For many awaiting trial, making bond is a major issue. And for many counties, overpopulation in prisons is also a major issue. That’s why Delta County is experimenting with a pilot program to help combat both of these problems.
“Well the pilot program was born out of concern statewide about people being lodged and bonds being set, and then they aren’t able to make their bond, and then they have to wait a long time before they even have their day in court and there’s been adjudication for guilt or innocence,” says Steve Parks, a judge in the 94th district.
This program aims to make bonds more affordable to certain people, while reducing the amount of those incarcerated.
“Delta County is way overcrowded in our jail population; we have been for quite some time, and so I figured that this way this program will make us take a look at our jail population, maybe make some adjustments that need to be made so that we are setting bonds correctly and giving everyone an opportunity for bond,” says Emily DeSalvo, court administrator for Delta County.
However, not everyone in custody has this option available to them. Those awaiting trial must meet a particular criteria.
Factors that are taken into account for setting bond are history of non–appearance, severity of charges, and likelihood of violence, among others.
Baraga is one of 5 other counties trying this program out. If a success, this program has a possibility to be ran state–wide.