In less than two months, the so-called “criminal justice reforms,” will take effect, eliminating cash bail and pre-trial detention for most offenses. These reforms will result in the mandatory release of nearly 90% of perpetrators arrested, regardless of criminal history. Many fear these ‘reforms’ will have dangerous unintended consequences that will jeopardize the safety of victims, particularly in cases of domestic violence.
When the new bail reform measures take effect on January 1, 2020, judges will only have the power to set bail if they determine that a defendant is a flight risk. A defendant’s criminal history, or the fact that they may pose a clear physical threat to another person, cannot be considered, creating a system in which a violent offender is likely sent back into the community, unsupervised and able to come into contact with their victim, the victim’s loved ones, and others.
Senator Sue Serino has introduced legislation to combat the most egregious issues created by the bail reform measure. Her bills would expressly allow judges to consider a perpetrators’ dangerousness when determining whether a defendant should be held pre-trial and would ensure that each crime under the aggravated family offense statue would qualify for bail and pre-trial detention.
When the new bail reform measures take effect on January 1, 2020, we have a duty to protect victims and the public. If you agree, and want to see action taken on this important legislation, click the link below to sign the petition today!