MACo To Courts: Remember “Big Picture” Amidst Bail Changes

In advance of a January 5 open meeting on proposed rule changes governing the bail process, MACo has submitted a letter to the Court of Appeals citing broader concerns for local detention centers and public safety. MACo offers its general support for changes in the bail system — but remains watchful for unintended consequences that may trigger new costs or liabilities.

From MACo’s letter:

From a county perspective the fiscal and human costs of incarcerating individuals pretrial that do not need to be incarcerated or simply cannot pay for monetary bail can be significant. It costs $83-$153 a day to incarcerate an individual in jail, with an annual cost of $22.65-$44.75 million. Those resources can be better expended on incarcerating those who are a risk to the community and otherwise releasing or supervising those who are not. Individuals that are held pretrial unnecessarily also face the loss of employment, housing, government benefits and other disruptions that can impede efforts to become a productive member of the community. The proposed rule change helps to assuage these fiscal and human cost concerns.

For those interested in attending or viewing the public meeting:


Annapolis, Maryland

The Court will hold an open meeting on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in the Court of Appeals’ Courtroom, 4th Floor, Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building, to consider the One Hundred Ninety-Second Report of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. The meeting will also be webcast at:

The Report is posted on the Judiciary’s website,

For further information, contact Bessie M. Decker, Clerk.
Phones: 410-260-1500
800-926-2583 (Wash.)

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties