Philadelphia will stop keeping a portion of defendants' bail

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Philadelphia says it will no longer keep a portion of defendants' bail deposits even if they appear for court hearings.

The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, which covers the Philadelphia County court system, announced Thursday that the judicial rules had been revised to return the entire bail amount to defendants who met their court obligations. The previous rule allowed the court to keep up to 30 percent of a defendant's bail.

The money-- about $3 million annually-- was sent to the city's general fund. Mayor Jim Kenney commended the move Thursday, saying the money was not included in the city's budget plan this year.

Philadelphia has rolled out a series of criminal justice reforms over the last few years aimed at reducing the jail population by 50 percent by 2020.

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