PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding hungry families, on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: The newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we'll return first thing Friday.)


2020Talks - November 25, 2020 


CORRECTED 2:30pm MST 11/25 - Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be the second Black woman in US UN Ambassador role, Susan Rice was the first. Biden nominees speak; how can social media spread less misinformation and be less polarizing. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Nonprofit Group Aims to Eliminate Utah Cash-Bail System

Studies show that in Salt Lake County, pre-trial detainees spend an average of 128 days in jail before their case goes to trial. (Victor Moussa/Adobe Stock)
Studies show that in Salt Lake County, pre-trial detainees spend an average of 128 days in jail before their case goes to trial. (Victor Moussa/Adobe Stock)
October 14, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY -- Four of every five people currently sitting in Salt Lake County jails haven't been convicted of a crime, but are waiting there to go to court because they're too impoverished to make bail. Decarcerate Utah is a nonprofit group working to change the system so people can continue their lives while awaiting their day in court.

The group created a Salt Lake Community Bail Fund to provide community resources to help suspects post bail. But Emily Lyver, the fund's co-founder, said the group's ultimate goal is to end all pre-trial detentions in Utah.

"We would like to eliminate and abolish the cash-bail system. We think that the system creates a two-tiered justice system, for those who can pay and those who cannot. So, it disproportionately criminalizes people who are impoverished."

Lyver said the group recently funded its first bail request, and is looking for additional support to help other defendants. She said studies show that in Salt Lake County, pre-trial detainees spend an average of 128 days in jail before their case is heard. Previously, she said, judges would set bail as high as $500,000 to ensure a person stayed in custody until trial. Utah legislators approved House Bill 206 this year to give courts more flexibility, but Lyver said it doesn't go far enough.

"These are just exorbitant sums of money that are meant to be unpayable," she said. "So, at least under this, if they want to hold someone in jail without bail, they'll have to say so -- whereas in the past, they would just set bail so high that no one could pay it."

Lyver noted that holding someone for trial often costs the person much more than a guilty verdict, including the loss of their jobs, homes, cars and even custody of their children.

"We also know," she said, "that people who are incarcerated before their trial tend to accept plea deals that are not in their best interest, just out of desperation to get out of jail."

Statistics show the state's pretrial-detention system falls hardest on people of color and low-income households. Lyver said five times the number of Black people and twice the number of Indigenous people are jailed than the overall population.

The bail study is online at hamiltonproject.org and the text of HB 206 is at ie.utah.gov.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - UT