Some violators of City of Ruston misdemeanor ordinances will no longer be required to post a bond, and will instead be released on recognizance (ROR), which only requires a signature by the accused offender as a promise to appear at a court date. Among the offenses that may still require a cash bond are: assault, battery, DWI, resisting arrest, and flight from an officer.
Previously, there was a preset bond schedule for offenses.
See here the order.
Third Judicial District Court judges are said to be contemplating a similar order for that jurisdiction.
The action came as a result of a federal lawsuit in Bossier Parish that challenged the practice of preset bonds for minor crimes. The plaintiffs alleged that indigents charged with crimes often served jail time awaiting trial because they couldn’t afford bail, nor could they afford the $40 fee for an indigent attorney.
The new policy could result in a reduction of inmate population at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, and negate the need to expand the jail’s capacity.
Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone is currently lobbying the Lincoln Parish Police Jury to “co-sign” for a $2.5 million construction project to add nearly 100 new cells at the jail.
Stone’s plan is also threatened by reductions in state funding for housing state prisoners, a major source of revenue for the local jail.
According to a 3/10/17 New Orleans Times Picayune news story, the daily rate which the state reimburses may be cut from $24.39 to $10.25.