Maintaining Apartheid: Arrest and Cash Bail in Allegheny County (Court Watch Docket Report #2)

ALC Court Watch’s Docket Report #02 Maintaining Apartheid: Arrest and Cash Bail in Allegheny County (2021) is based on the arrest and arraignment data from 5,950 individual docket sheets compiled over the course of 140 days. The report examines two key actors in the development and maintenance of racial apartheid in the Pittsburgh region: police and judges. The jurisdictions of West Mifflin, Brentwood, Frazer Township and Pittsburgh are used as case studies for contextualizing state-sanctioned violence and white supremacy in the region. Several police officers noted in the report were members of a now deleted racist and transphobic Facebook group; had brutalized a young Black girl on a bus in 2020; and in the case of Pittsburgh, had salaries of more than $140,000 in 2019. The report illustrates how bail setting practices of local magistrates vary wildly and are arbitrarily set, revealing there is no real standard for how cash bail is imposed in Allegheny County.

Date of Publication: April 27, 2021

Lead Authors / Contributors: Autumn Redcross, William Lukas, Court Watch Volunteers; design by William Lukas