In 1961 a retired engineer named Louis Schweizer took a stand to make changes in the way pre-trial bonds were completed. Mr. Schweizer investigated the workings of the Brooklyn House of Detention that same year. He was moved to take necessary steps to assist those who were too poor to be able to also be released before a trial. Schweizer was a man with many contacts and was able to show evidence-based facts that freeing those who were screened in advance no matter their situation, would not make it any more likely that they would fail to appear for court.
A foundation named after his mother Vera was formed by Mr. Sweitzer, the Manhattan Bail Project was its first act of attempting to solve the problem of pre-trial release and was supervised by a man named Herb Sturz. This became the first untried, ground-breaking attempt in pre-trial services. Makowiecki (2015). This effort led to the first National Conference on Bail and Criminal Justice was held in Washington, D.
C. in 1964. There were several notable people in the criminal justice system that attended, attorney general Robert F. Kennedy was one of them. Mr. Kennedy stated that the choice on weather or not to release a defendant on a pre-trial basis was not based on the crime they were accused of, whether they were innocent or guilty, or even their character, but simply based on money. He asked that federal prosecutors request for the release of defendants without bond when it was suitable. Within a year the release of defendants on their own reassurance that they would return to court was tripled, furthermore, there was no increase in failures to appear in court.
On June 22, 1966, President Johnson signed a Bail Reform Act into law, this act considered facts like, did the accused have connections to their family, did they have a past record, and did they have a connection to their community, no matter his resources. The reform act also took into consideration if there were a question as to the defendant showing up for court, that a third party (bondsmen) could be used as well as parameters to who an accused could associate with, where they could travel and where they could live. Ervin (2015). President Regan signed into law, the Bail Reform Act in 1984 This act thought about the safety concerns to the community as well as look into enlarging the number of varied release conditions. It created standards for after-conviction releases. It also permitted the courts to not allow the release of those that appeared to be a danger or if there was some indication that the accused would not show for court. The acceptance that one was innocent until proven guilty was spearheaded as well as releases under less strict conditions. The use of cash bonds appeared less important. The success of these accomplishments by the Vera study as well as the National Bail Conference help to strengthen and inspire the passage of the first piece of federal law that related to bail since the Federal Judiciary Act of 1789.
The Bail Reform Act of 1966, which was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, proposed to remove biases in the current federal bail system. This act guided those in the judicial system and gave options into what should be considered in the release of an accused on bail. Makowiecki (2015). In 1969 Senator Sam J. Ervin of N. Carolina stated that the incarceration of an accused before a trial, not only deprived a person of the chance to help himself in his defense, it may also cost them their employment, caused harm to their family and may subject them to physical and mental problems while detained. He also said that he did not believe that judges had the ability of anticipating who would and would not be a danger to the community. To imprison those who are determined innocent until proven guilty without a trial would be vulnerable to abuse. Ervin (2015).