Philly courts, under fire over detainer rule, simply deleted them. So what’s next?

October 11, 2018

Keir Bradford-Grey speaks at a press conference about the elimination of Philadelphia’s 30 percent fee on money bail, while City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson listens.

By Staff

On Oct. 10, the president judges of the Philadelphia courts quietly posted a notice on their website. They had eliminated a rule outlining policies on detainers, orders that can keep people locked up indefinitely if they are already on probation or parole when they’re arrested for a new crime.

Since then, lawyers and community advocates have been trying to figure out what that means, as the courts had routinely failed to follow the old rule, which limited automatic detainers to only a small number of very serious violent crimes. Keir Bradford-Grey, chief of the Defender Association, said the resulting practice, in which people were detained automatically even on lower-level offenses, was “unconstitutional.”

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