LAW 835

Pay or Stay: An Exploration of the Bail System in America


Criminal Justice

The majority of the growth in the U.S. jail population over the last two decades can be attributed to the increase in pretrial incarceration. The goal of this course is to provide students with opportunities inside and outside the classroom to examine the history of bail and its relationship to mass incarceration, the impact of various pretrial policies on Black and Brown communities, and the competing and nascent legislative, legal, and policy solutions to the current systems of pretrial incarceration.

Students in the practicum will participate in field placements at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office through which they will represent clients in felony bail hearings. Students will gain skills of gathering mitigation evidence, writing declarations, preparing Humphrey motions, and arguing for their client's release pretrial on the record.

Additionally, throughout the semester, students will have the opportunity to work on a policy project related to the functioning of the pretrial system that will have meaningful impact both locally and nationally.

Students who enroll in this course are required to attend an orientation on August 20, 2021 from 10 am - 4 pm.


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