New Jersey is making headlines, and for a more positive reason than usual. The state has essentially completely done away with its system of cash bail. Although I do not practice law in New Jersey, and never have, the reporting by the New York Times makes it seem that New Jersey's previous system was very similar to the system we have here in Louisiana. Essentially, in New Jersey prior to the overhaul, a judge would set the amount of bail and the person would remain in jail until he or she is able to make bail, whether by paying the full amount set by the judge (called a cash bond) or by paying a portion to a bail bondsman (a commercial bond).
Now, defendants will in practice either be released without bail or held over for trial without bail. As per the New York Times, "In the 3,382 [New Jersey] cases statewide that were processed in the first four weeks of January, judges set bail only three times. An additional 283 defendants were held without bail because they were accused of a serious crime or were a significant flight risk, or both."
I have some thoughts on the matter, which I will address more fully tomorrow.