Michigan ACLU Calls on Grand Traverse Co. Jail to End Bail Policy

A northern Michigan jail is at the center of a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

The organization has sent a letter to law enforcement in Grand Traverse County, and also to the judge in the 86th District Court.

They’re concerned about what they say appears to be a policy of failing to return some bail money as outlined by state law.

In a letter to the Grand Traverse County sheriff, the ACLU of Michigan says it is extremely concerned about what appears to be the county’s “policy and practice” of failing to return cash bail paid by third parties.

According to the ACLU, it happens even when a defendant fully complies with the terms of their bail.

They claim they’ve been informed that, in at least one case, the cash bail paid by a third party on behalf of a defendant was not refunded to the person who paid the bail, but was instead confiscated to pay the defendant’s court fees.

A sign announcing the policy is prominently displayed at the Grand Traverse County Jail.

The ACLU is calling on the jail to end the policy immediately and claims it violates Michigan state law.