As Attorney General in 1964, Robert F. Kennedy pressed Congress to pass bail reform at the federal level, stating: “Every year in this country, thousands of persons are kept in jail for weeks and even months following arrest. They are not yet proven guilty. They may be no more likely to flee than you or I. But, nonetheless, most of them must stay in jail because, to be blunt, they cannot afford to pay for their freedom.”

54 years later, the momentum to bring true bail reform to California is a manifestation of a more just and peaceful world of which Robert F. Kennedy dreamed. Unfortunately, what started out as progressive reform — thanks in large part to the grassroots organizing efforts from groups like Essie Justice Project and Silicon Valley De Bug — has now been co-opted by forces who oppose real change.

Accordingly, in advance of the California legislature’s consideration of SB 10, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights expresses its opposition to this bill.

“Money bail has long been a scourge of our criminal legal system,” said Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “But simply replacing the evil of money bail with an even more pernicious system of expanded preventative detention will only serve to further mass incarceration. Californians deserve better.”


Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We work alongside local activists to ensure lasting positive change in governments and corporations. Our team includes leading attorneys, advocates, entrepreneurs and writers united by a commitment to social justice. Whether in the United States or abroad, our programs have pursued strategic litigation on key human rights issues, educated millions of students in human rights advocacy and fostered a social good approach to business and investment.