Gullings, Amanda

Amanda Gullings is a member of the Center on Juvenile Criminal Justice (CJCJ)'s policy team where this article originally appeared. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science degree from San Jose State University. Her area of expertise is on criminal justice policy development and reform, particularly penal and drug policy.

Build Bigger Jails or Invest in Community-Based Alternatives?

By Amanda Gullings
Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice

In 2010, 71 percent of California‚Äôs jail population were those offenders who were unsentenced and awaiting resolution of their cases. This figure not only exceeds the pretrial detainee national average, but also represents a major shift away from the traditional use of jails where inmates are detained as a form of punishment. However, many of these pretrial detainees are not being held because they have been determined to be a danger to society or represent a flight risk. Rather, they remain in jail because they cannot afford to post bail.