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Robin Steinberg: How can the U.S. restructure the unjust cycle of the bail system?

This bonus episode is a follow-up to the TED Radio Hour episode Bucking The System.

Nearly half a million Americans are jailed because they can't pay bail. Public defender Robin Steinberg wanted to change that. She created an organization to pay bail for those who can't afford it.

About Robin Steinberg

Robin Steinberg is a public defender and the CEO of The Bail Project, which she founded in 2017. The group creates rotating bail funds to pay bail for people who cannot afford it.

Previously, she founded and served as the executive director of The Bronx Defenders, a public defender group serving low-income New Yorkers. She is also a senior fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles Law Criminal Justice Program. She has earned multiple awards for her work and her writing has appeared in numerous law reviews, policy journals, and books.

Steinberg earned a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from New York University.

This bonus episode of TED Radio Hour was produced byHarrison Vijay Tsuiand edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at

Our production staff at NPR also includes Jeff Rogers, James Delahoussaye, Rachel Faulkner, Diba Mohtasham, Katie Monteleone, Fiona Geiran, Sylvie Douglis, and Matthew Cloutier. Our audio engineer is Daniel Shukin. Our intern is Katherine Sypher.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Harrison Vijay Tsui
Harrison Vijay Tsui is a news assistant for TED Radio Hour and How I Built This, where he researches, produces and promotes segments for both shows. Tsui joined as an intern in the summer of 2021.