To the great surprise of socialists everywhere, California’s bail enforcement industry is not going quietly to its centrally decreed death. More than that, the situation has brought to my attention a Soros-level threat to Western Civilization: the Arnold Foundation. That’s John D. Arnold of the Enron scandal fame.
California Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum (2020)
The California Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum (#18-0009) may appear on the ballot in California as a veto referendum on November 3, 2020. The veto referendum seeks to overturn Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), a bill that made California the first state to end the use of cash bail for detained suspects awaiting trials. Instead, SB 10 instituted a system of risk assessments to determine whether a detained suspect should be granted pretrial release and under what conditions.
I didn’t find a news article announcing the fact that “Repeal Senate Bill 10” qualified for a voter referendum so had to use Ballotpedia.
California Gov. Brown (D) signed SB 10 on August 28, 2018, and the veto referendum to overturn the bill was filed on August 29. The American Bail Coalition, a nonprofit trade association, organized the political action committee Californians Against the Reckless Bail Scheme to advocate for the veto referendum.
I love your PAC’s name. Methinks bail bondmen don’t kiss much political ass.
SB 10 would go into effect on October 1, 2019. On November 20, 2018, proponents reported filing 576,745 signatures with election officials. At least 365,880 (63.44 percent) need to be valid for the referendum to appear on the ballot. Counties have until January 17, 2019, to conduct a random sample of signatures. Should enough valid signatures be certified, SB 10 would be put on hold until voters decide the bill’s fate in 2020.
What was SB 10 designed to change about bail in California?
SB 10 was designed to replace the state’s cash bail system with risk assessments to determine whether a detained suspect should be granted pretrial release and under what conditions. SB 10 was set to go into effect on October 1, 2019. The risk assessments would categorize suspects as low risk, medium risk, or high risk. Suspects deemed as having a low risk of failure to appear in court and low risk to public safety would be released from jail, while those deemed a high risk would remain in jail, with a chance to argue for their release before a judge. Those deemed a medium risk could be released or detained, depending on the local court’s rules. SB 10 would exempt suspects of misdemeanors, with exceptions, from needing a risk assessment to be released.
SB 10 would require the countywide superior courts to establish pretrial assessment divisions, which would be tasked with conducting risk assessments and making recommendations for conditions of release. The Judicial Council, the rule-making department of the state’s judicial system, would decide which risk assessment tools are valid for use. SB 10 would not itself mandate what factors the tools need to consider, but the bill would state that the tools need to be accurate and reliable, as based on scientific research.
Naturally, I was very curious what these “risk assessment tools” might be. Is anybody surprised that a philanthropic organization with heavy Obama, Clinton and Enron ties just happens to have one ready to go? That’s the Arnold Foundation and they already provided their risk assessment tool to San Francisco gratis several years ago, to test it.
That testing became known as the Twin Peaks Killing.
Suspect in Twin Peaks killing released from jail days earlier
By Vivian Ho, 8 August 2017
Lamont Mims, accused of murdering photographer Edward French
Fantasy Decuir, also accused of the murder (and actually pulling the trigger). Note cutting eyelids and frizzy hair. Mims could have chosen a saner girlfriend.
One of two people accused of killing a 71-year-old film scout and photographer on San Francisco’s Twin Peaks last month had been arrested days earlier in the city for allegedly being a felon in possession of a gun, but was released from jail through a pretrial diversion program, records show.
City officials are now questioning the release of Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old former resident of Patterson (Stanislaus County), who was on probation for burglarizing cars on Twin Peaks.
Mims was booked Monday and appeared in Superior Court on Tuesday to face charges including murder in the July 16 shooting of the film scout, Edward French, which occurred in the early morning during an apparent robbery attempt. A second suspect, 20-year-old Fantasy Decuir of San Francisco, did not appear in court after being hospitalized for an undisclosed reason, Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart said in court.
So, Mims was convicted on felony burglary charges, paroled and then violated parole by carrying a gun while associating with “another man” also illegally carrying a gun.
GQ risk assessment tool: Prior felony criminal record plus weapon-related probation violation plus probable gang association equals “lock him up for sure”. But San Francisco had a better idea:
In May 2016, San Francisco began experimenting with a computer algorithm that seeks to improve on the system of setting bail based on alleged crimes, taking into consideration whether a defendant might pose a public safety or flight risk.
The risk-assessment tool, developed by the Texas-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation, weighs a number of factors including the pending charges, the person’s age and rap sheet, and their record of showing up to court. The tool then makes a recommendation for or against release, which is sent to a judge who can follow or ignore the advice.
Though District Attorney George Gascón was a proponent of the tool, prosecutors and defense attorneys said they have seen assessments with which they did not agree. Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said Tuesday there have been “many instances of contention.”
“As it relates to this case along with many other cases, we have a disagreement with how that risk assessment is being calculated,” Bastian said. “They suggested release with certain conditions, and the judge carried out that recommendation and this defendant was released.”
The Pretrial Diversion Project and the Arnold Foundation did not immediately return requests for comment Tuesday. …
San Francisco police said they linked Decuir and Mims to French’s killing while investigating a separate armed robbery that occurred near the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption at Geary and Gough streets on the morning of July 28. A 53-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman had been robbed of their cameras and wallets at gunpoint.
In court Tuesday, Swart argued against Judge Donna Hitchens’ decision to set bail for Mims and Decuir at $5 million, calling it “an insult.” He asked for $10 million, citing Mims’ prior convictions and the murder charges against them. Hitchens kept the bail at $5 million.
A video by NBC states that Mims was categorized as a “moderate risk” by the Arnold system. Note that closing comment about a bleeding-heart judge giving Mims lower parole? On the one hand, the judge might have simply thought that Mims wasn’t going to pay a $5M bail in stolen cameras anyway. On the other hand, this excerpt from Wired Magazine paints a more ominous picture:
WHEN GOVERNMENT RULES BY SOFTWARE, CITIZENS ARE LEFT IN THE DARK
By Tom Simonite, 17 August 2017
IN JULY, SAN Francisco Superior Court Judge Sharon Reardon considered whether to hold Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old accused of violating his probation, in jail. One piece of evidence before her: the output of algorithms known as PSA that scored the risk that Mims, who had previously been convicted of burglary, would commit a violent crime or skip court. Based on that result, another algorithm recommended that Mims could safely be released, and Reardon let him go. Five days later, police say, he robbed and murdered a 71-year old man.
On Monday, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said staffers using the tool had erroneously failed to enter Mims’ prior jail term. Had they done so, PSA would have recommended he be held, not released.
It’s hard to believe that staffers “forgot” Mims had a prior felony record. In fact, it’s hard to believe the PSA would have accepted “probation violation” without the original conviction.
As programmers say, Garbage In, Garbage Out. No risk assessment tool can be immune to being intentionally provided false information. Apart from Arnold Foundation conspiracies, the use of algorithms puts the power of determining pretrial release in the hands of anonymous gov’t employees… underneath the plausible deniability of “this is what the algorithm said”. The Social Justice Warrior’s native habitat, power over others without responsibility.
*Checks* Judge Donna Hitchens is now retired and a proud founder of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Hmm, which civil rights are lesbian-specific? But that goes off topic.
Mims’ case highlights how governments increasingly rely on mathematical formulas to inform decisions about criminal justice, child welfare, education and other arenas. Yet it’s often hard or impossible for citizens to see how these algorithms work and are being used.
San Francisco Superior Court began using PSA in 2016, after getting the tool for free from the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, a Texas nonprofit that works on criminal-justice reform. The initiative was intended to prevent poor people unable to afford bail from needlessly lingering in jail. But a memorandum of understanding with the foundation bars the court from disclosing “any information about the Tool, including any information about the development, operation and presentation of the Tool.” …
The Arnold Foundation says it no longer requires confidentiality from municipal officials, and is happy to amend existing agreements, to allow officials to disclose information about PSA and how they use it. But a representative of San Francisco Superior Court said its contract with the foundation has not been updated to remove the gag clause.
Color me shocked. However, the Arnold Foundation did acknowledge the nine “inputs” that its algorithm uses:
The factors are:
- Whether the current offense is violent
- Whether the person had a pending charge at the time of the current offense
- Whether the person has a prior misdemeanor conviction
- Whether the person has a prior felony conviction
- Whether the person has prior convictions for violent crimes
- The person’s age at the time of arrest
- How many times the person failed to appear at a pretrial hearing in the last two years
- Whether the person failed to appear at a pretrial hearing more than two years ago
- Whether the person has previously been sentenced to incarceration.
One wonders why individual judges cannot do for themselves what Arnold is building a national infrastructure to accomplish. They already have access to this information. Then, one remembers that most judges today are Social Justice Warriors like Donna Hutchins, who crave deniability no matter how personally powerful they are.
The major media haven’t said anything about the Arnold Foundation acting behind the scenes of SB 10. They certainly didn’t cover the active lawsuits against their pretrial algorithm:
Arnold Foundation Hires Bill Clinton’s Former Lawyer to Clarify The Foundation’s Complete Lack of Neutrality on Bail Reform.
by Jeff Clayton, Executive Director, American Bail Coalition (undated)
The Public Safety Assessment, a proprietary algorithm created by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (hereinafter, “Arnold Foundation”), with the stated intent to use big-data to “moneyball” the criminal justice system, has been presented to public officials in numerous jurisdictions as simply an additional tool to help judges make better bail decisions by incorporating the risk of the defendant into such decisions. The Foundation posits itself as merely the neutral data-scientists helping to collect and analyze such information.
“Big Data” usage–statistical mining of massive datasets to make “discoveries”–is one of the primary sources of non-repeatable scientific studies.
Former U.S. Solicitor Paul Clement recently filed a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey, arguing that the new no-money bail system, which uses the Arnold Foundation tool, instead violates the federal constitution. That case is Holland v. Rosen, now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, one level below the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, in another federal case, Rodgers v. Arnold Foundation, et. al., the Arnold Foundation is being sued for products liability and wrongful death in New Jersey because their risk-tool counted a prior felon in possession of a firearm with a record a mile long as low-risk, only to be released on his own recognizance and then brutally murder another man days later.
I don’t see how any third-party algorithm provider can avoid endless lawsuits over product liability. Judges and related law enforcement personnel are given special legal immunities because their work would be impossible without them. It would be a very bad idea to extend those legal immunities to third parties.
The Arnold Foundation, however, recently made it clear in a legal filing that it has no respect for the state or federal constitutional right to bail, and that if it had its druthers, it would force the national implementation of what it describes as the “widely successful” New Jersey system.
In the Arnold Foundation’s now-unveiled quest to end money bail using a secret, proprietary algorithm, the Arnold Foundation has now opened up their significant war-chest to hire Bill Clinton’s former Solicitor General of the United States to advocate in favor of New Jersey’s no-money bail system. In the filing dated December 15, 2017, the Former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, a known supporter of progressive causes, makes clear what we knew all along—the Arnold Foundation produced its research and designed its algorithm in order to eliminate monetary bail in the United States by implementing the New Jersey system. In addition, the Arnold Foundation makes it absolutely clear that is against all use of the private bail system in the United States of America.
Yet, there is one big problem—most states have not and will not change their state constitutions or state statutes to embrace the Arnold Foundation’s ideologies, ideologies it shares with groups funded by billionaire George Soros such as the Pretrial Justice Institute. Elimination of the constitutional right to bail requires the changing of such constitutions, which now the Arnold Foundation has revealed it absolutely supports. …
Clearly, the façade of neutral and unbiased science over at the Arnold Foundation has now evaporated more quickly than scarce water in a drought.
I’ll conclude with some Arnold Foundation highlights sourced from Wikipedia.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (also known as LJAF and as the Arnold Foundation) is a private foundation run by John D. Arnold, an American hedge fund manager, and his wife Laura Arnold. The organization was founded in 2008, the same year that the Arnolds signed the Giving Pledge, a pledge by some high-net-worth individuals to donate a large fraction of their income to philanthropic causes during their lifetimes.
The foundation has focused its donations on the issues of K-12 education reform, public pension reform, criminal justice reform, dietary policy, and improving reproducibility in science.
That last one is very odd for a philanthropic organization. Meanwhile, turns out that Soros, Arnold and friends are neck-deep in trying to seize control of floundering pension systems across the United States. I don’t have the economic skill to make sense of it.
In the period 2011–2016, LJAF made $684 million in grants, distributed as follows: $75 million for criminal justice, $206 million for education, $147 million for evidence-based policy and innovation, $1.5 million for planning, $81 million for research integrity, $5 million for science and technology, $56 million for sustainable public finance, and $112 million for new initiatives.
Anne Milgram worked as the Attorney General for the state of New Jersey where she worked to bring data to bear on the New Jersey state justice system and became a professor at New York University; she was recruited by the foundation to become its vice president for criminal justice. In a 2013 TED talk, she explained her work at LJAF creating tools to capture and use data to make the justice system more effective and efficient, which she called “Moneyballing crime”.
Anne Milgram. With a face that, she could be the next director of the Sundance Film Festival. Alongside her Arnold Foundation duties, she’s a technical advisor to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. This explains a lot about that show.
An overview of criminal justice reform in the United States by GiveWell listed the Arnold Foundation as one of the top foundations in the United States working in the area, along with the Open Society Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project, the Ford Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, the Public Welfare Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation.
The foundation funded continuous aerial surveillance of Baltimore, Maryland.
We all knew the aerial drone craze was going to result in that.
The foundation is also linked to questionable criminal justice practices. In 2016, The Baltimore Sun reported that the foundation donated $360,000 to fund a controversial surveillance program in Baltimore conducted secret, warrantless aerial surveillance of Baltimoreans on behalf of the Baltimore Police Department. The BPD conducted the surveillance without informing elected officials or the general public, suspending the program after public revelation.
Laura and John Arnold are listed as one of the biggest benefactors to the Wikimedia Foundation.
That’s a fun fact pairing.
The foundation has funded various politically-oriented 501(c)4 organizations, including Engage Rhode Island. Many of these organizations advocate pension fund reform, encourage state and local governments to reduce benefits to workers and to invest assets in riskier investments such as hedge funds. Some have criticized the foundation’s efforts, saying that hedge fund managers collect generous sums in fees for managing the funds, while the workers are left with reduced pensions.
Okay, maybe I do have the economic skill to understand why Enron’s hedge-fund wunderkind would want to charitably help pension plans invest in hedge funds. CONFLICT OF INTEREST, hello? INSIDER TRADING? Do we even have a Securities & Exchange Commission anymore?
LJAF’s attempts at pension reform have been met with hostility, and critics have argued that they have bought out groups such as the Pew Charitable Trust, the Public Broadcasting Service, and the Brookings Institution. In March 2014, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that Pensions and Investments had asked the Pew Charitable Trust to stop taking money from the LJAF because of the LJAF’s support for pension reform.
This political cartoon was found at the link in that paragraph.
One of the first projects funded by the foundation was research into obesity, which was drawn to Arnold’s attention when he heard an interview with Gary Taubes on the EconTalk podcast. Subsequent conversation between Arnold and Taubes led to the foundation funding the Nutrition Science Initiative in San Diego, where Taubes and Peter Attia and are trying to find the cause of obesity.
The cause can be found on the dollar menu of McDonald’s. They can track gym attendance too, if they feel a need to be all science-y about the topic.
The Deep State’s massive size is increasingly visible as entities like the Arnold Foundation emerge–organizations funded by shady market manipulations who exist to give cover to SJW allies in government. It’s all connected. Replacing bail with an algorithm that has already proven capable of delivering whatever results are wanted is a crucial step in forging ties between criminals and Elites.
How can we control our own communities when the likes of Arnold decide who gets out of jail free?