Taking aim at one of the most exploitative components of America\u0026#039;s broken criminal justice system, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would end the \u0022destructive and unjust cash bail process\u0022 that keeps hundreds of thousands of people locked up at a given moment due to their inability to pay their way out of jail.\u0022Poverty is not a crime,\u0022 Sanders declared in a press release unveiling his legislation, which is formally titled the No Money Bail Act. \u0022In the year 2018, in the United States, we should not continue having a \u0026#039;debtor prison\u0026#039; system.\u0022Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. have not been convicted of a crime but are incarcerated because they cannot afford bail. Today, we are introducing legislation to end that disgrace. pic.twitter.com/zC5qnRZ2wN— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 25, 2018Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who has introduced a companion bill in the House, added in a statement on Wednesday that America\u0026#039;s \u0022money bail system is irrational and dangerous. People who are not at high risk but are poor remain incarcerated, while people who may be dangerous are set free if they have the funds. It\u0026#039;s maddening to see that those with money can buy their freedom while poor defendants languish behind bars while awaiting trial.\u0022\u0022It has always been clear that we have separate criminal justice systems in this country for the poor and for the rich.\u0022 —No Money Bail Act, summary\u0022I\u0026#039;m grateful Sen. Sanders is introducing a bill that moves to end our justice system\u0026#039;s reliance on money bail,\u0022 Lieu added.Citing the well-known fact that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, a summary (pdf) of Sanders\u0026#039; new legislation argued that \u0022what\u0026#039;s even worse is nearly a quarter of all people incarcerated on any given day in the U.S. are \u0026#039;unconvicted\u0026#039;—meaning they are sitting in jail waiting for a trial, or plea bargain, or some sort of conclusion to their case.\u0022\u0022Pretrial detention is bad for society and bad for our criminal justice system,\u0022 the bill\u0026#039;s summary notes. \u0022People held pretrial are missing days of work. They are missing time with their families. Often enough, they run the risk of missing a rent payment and losing their housing.\u0022But while the cash bail system has a devastating impact on the poor and vulnerable, it is a boon for the for-profit bail industry, which Sanders says rakes in \u0022between $1.4 and $2.4 billion each year.\u0022\u0022It has always been clear that we have separate criminal justice systems in this country for the poor and for the rich,\u0022 the bill\u0026#039;s synopsis notes. \u0022A wealthy person charged with a serious crime may get an ankle monitor and told not to leave the country; a poor person charged with a misdemeanor may sit in a jail cell. And this disproportionately affects minorities—fifty percent of all pretrial detainees are Black or Latinx.\u0022According to Sanders\u0026#039; office, the Vermont senator\u0026#039;s new legislation wouldformally end the use of secured bonds in federal criminal proceedings, provide grants to states that wish to implement alternate pretrial systems to reduce their pretrial detention population and withholds grant funding from states that continue to use money bail systems. It would also require a study three years after implementation to ensure the new alternate systems are also not leading to disparate detention rates.Sanders\u0026#039; legislation has been endorsed by Color of Change and the ACLU. Both groups have been at the forefront of a nationwide grassroots initiative aimed at \u0022bolstering the movement to end money bail and eliminate wealth-based pretrial detention.\u0022\u0022It\u0026#039;s time to end our nation\u0026#039;s current system of cash bail that lets the size of your wallet determine whether you are granted freedom or stay locked up,\u0022 Udi Ofer, director of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice, declared in a statement launching the effort last year.