According to a news report based on a district bail fund expanding into Hillsborough county by WFLA news channel 8, today criminal justice reforms have taken a considerable step forward in the Orlando area, stretching its hand into Tampa Bay, I-4 corridor.
The Morgan and Morgan law firm has always been interested in the criminal justice reforms space seeing the need of the community in Tampa was clear to them that it was time to launch a nonprofit campaign in February known as community bail fund. It successfully finds its place with the help of officials from the 9th judicial orbit from the Orange and Osceola counties.
The community bail fund focuses on helping only the low-level, non-violent offenders charged with low rate crimes like traffic violation and drug possession.
Immediately their campaign got support from the public defender Juliane Holt and the state attorney Andrew Warren of Hillsborough county. Matt Morgan from Morgan and Morgan law firm says the campaign has helped over 150 people pay post-jail bails.
Both Andrew warren, the top prosecutor, and public defender Juliane Holt in Hillsborough county suggest that many defendants sit in jail waiting for their day in court since they cannot afford to pay their bail or their bond.
Juliane Holt believes that such a fantastic campaign during the current pandemic time when they are unable to move in a meaningful way, in other words, fast. The campaign is of great help, especially to her clients facing sensitive and economically challenging times.
Attorney Andrew Warren says, “the pandemic is not only creating an alarming health risk for people in jail many people who will be convicted for crime will stay in jail longer than they should since we are not able to try cases normally.”
However, Morgan told 8 on your side the pandemic expedited the need to expand the fund. He also says that his family has raised about $150000 from the community.
8 On your side asked Juliane Holt if the Hillsborough county sheriff’s office is taking proper precautions to protect inmates during the pandemic. Juliane responds that she believes that the detention centers are doing a great job keeping the jailed individuals safe, but that does not help to do away with the dear and anxiety everyone is living with today. She also says that the number one concern from inmates is having limited access to the courtrooms. This can be solved by bondsman agents.
The States Attorney’s office and the HCSO said they are working hand in hand to keep the jail population as low as possible.
Mike Perotti, the current legal counsel for HCSO running for democrat election in November election, writes an email to 8 on your side suggesting that he believes that promoting more flexibility in the bail process considering alternatives to confinement is necessary the right course of action.
In his remarks, Perroti suggests that the State attorney and public defender should work with the judiciary and lawmakers to address bail reforms.