Lawmakers to vote on SB 556, bail reform bill

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CONCORD, NH – The state legislature is expected to vote April 19 on a bill that aims to reduce the number of criminal offenders in jail. Many are held in jail solely because they cannot post the required cash for their release.

⇒Related story ACLU-NH Investigation: ‘Debtors’ Prisons’ Alive and Well in New Hampshire

Senate Bill 556 would allow most criminal offenders – who are neither a danger to themselves or the community – to be released on personal recognizance, not cash bail. The bill would make it easier for indigents to get criminal convictions annulled.

You can read this March 28 Concord Monitor story, details the issue.

Representative Paul Berch (D-Cheshire), a retired Vermont public defender, who was instrumental in writing the bill, consulted with the ACLU and court representatives, and gained broad bipartisan support for it.