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Grassroots group commends step forward of unrigging bail system against lower-income citizens
CONCORD, N.H. – Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire (AFP-NH) on Thursday applauded the House’s passage of SB556, a bill that would reform the existing bail system and require judges to consider an individual’s income and ability to pay into consideration when setting bail for low-level offenses. Additionally, the bill would protect the rights of the accused and enable citizens who are found innocent to petition to have their arrest expunged from their records. SB556 passed the Senate last month on a voice vote.
“Today, the House took an important step of transforming our state’s criminal justice system to one that is smarter on crime and softer on taxpayers by passing SB 556. Reforming our bail laws so that those who have not been convicted of a crime aren’t forced to sit behind bars simply because they are unable to pay is a victory not only for those who could lose their job, their car and their home because they can’t make bail; it’s also a win for property taxpayers who won’t have to pay to jail these individuals,” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH State Director. “We look forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor to make sure this common-sense bill becomes law.”
AFP believes that sending an individual to jail should be a function of their criminality, not their income level.
Nine out of ten defendants who remain in jail before trial are there because they haven’t posted a bond. Low-income individuals may struggle to come up with even the small amount needed for bail.
For further information or an interview, reach Greg Moore at GMoore@afphq.org or (603) 303-9297.