On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver dug into the oft overlooked role that bail plays in the American justice system. As Oliver explains, incarceration, even for a short while, for a crime one might not have committed, has the power to destroy lives. Individuals who cannot afford to make bail face losing their jobs and homes because they are locked up. This leads many to take plea deals, admitting guilt (whether or not they actually committed the crime they are accused of) simply to get out of jail.
Oliver sums up the devastating effects of incarceration with one of his famous quips: “Jail can do for your actual life what marching band can do for your social life. Even if you’re just in for a little while it can destroy you.”
Watch Oliver’s report and see what he thinks should be done about America’s bail problem, below: