WisconsinWeekly: Beyond Bail: Cash bail discriminates against the poor

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WI policy makers rethinking cash bail; the ‘year of clean drinking water’

Of note: States including Wisconsin are studying alternatives to cash bail after studies show that spending even a few days in jail pretrial can lead to bad consequences down the road. Those include more missed court dates and higher likelihood of committing new crimes. The use of cash bail means poor defendants stay locked up while richer defendants charged with the same offenses go free. In the launch of our Beyond Bail series, reporters Emily Hamer, Sheila Terman Cohen and Riley Vetterkind explore the explosive growth in pretrial detention and efforts by states including Wisconsin to find a fairer system that also protects public safety.

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Poor stay in jail while rich go free: Rethinking cash bail in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism — January 20, 2019

Poor defendants can spend days, weeks — even years — behind bars awaiting trial, an approach increasingly found to be unconstitutional. Watch for additional installments of our Beyond Bail series.

How voting-machine lobbyists undermine the democratic process

The New Yorker — January 22, 2019

The practice of democracy begins with casting votes, and the integrity of democracy depends on the inclusivity of the franchise and the accurate recording of its will. Previously from WCIJ: How hackers could attack Wisconsin’s elections and what state officials are doing about it

Tony Evers declared 2019 ‘the year of clean drinking water.’ Here’s the task he faces in Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — January 25, 2019

Water quality issues have bedeviled policymakers for decades, but demands for solutions are growing. Check out WCIJ’s Failure at the Faucet series for more on this issue and watch UpFront with Mike Gousha on Sunday to see the Center’s managing editor Dee J. Hall, explain how water quality concerns have finally made it onto the political agenda. And here is the Wall Street Journal’s take on the water quality crisis in rural Wisconsin and beyond: Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America. (Note: This site has a paywall.)

Spending in 2018 gubernatorial, attorney general races reaches record levels

Wisconsin State Journal — January 24, 2019

Former WCIJ intern Riley Vetterkind reports that the $93 million spent in the 2018 gubernatorial race topped the previous record by $11 million and the $14 million spent on the Attorney General race was two-thirds higher than the spending in 2006’s contentious race.

Takeaway from BuzzFeed’s Michael Cohen-Donald Trump report: Journalists police themselves

USA TODAY — January 25, 2019

Two members of WCIJ’s Board of Directors, Milwaukee attorney Ralph A. Weber and former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editor Martin Kaiser, discuss the flap over a BuzzFeed report. They note that the story is being challenged by multiple news organizations that do not view their job as defending the president — or their media brethren.

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