Ruais praises NH House support of bail reform bill

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Jay Ruais Gossler Park
Mayor Jay Ruais on March 13, 2024. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Mayor Jay Ruais on April 11 expressed his support and gratitude to the New Hampshire House of Representatives for their support of HB 318, which passed on a voice vote.

The bill allows magistrates and bail commissioners to make bail decisions on Fridays or days before holidays, which had been delayed due to court closures in the past. The bill also allows detainment prior to arraignment for several serious crimes and situations where there is substantial evidence that a defendant is a potential danger to the public. Additional electronic monitoring requirements are placed in the bill for defendants who are believed to be an imminent threat to victims under a protective order.

According to the New Hampshire Judicial Branch estimated that the annual added costs to pay bail commissioners would cost approximately $1.9 million and the cost for hiring 15 highly qualified magistrates would exceed over $2 million per year.

Ruais stated that the bill’s passage through the House marks an important step toward ensuring the safety of the citizens of Manchester, also adding that the safety of Manchester citizens is non-negotiable and he is committed to working collaboratively with legislators and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu to reform bail laws.

This year, Ruais has held press conferences in January and March expressing the urgency of the issue.

“I am thrilled to see the passage of HB 318 by the House of Representatives,” said Ruais. “This legislation will be instrumental in addressing the shortcomings of our current bail reform laws and reaffirms our commitment to prioritizing the safety of our community.”

As of March 2024, the Manchester Police Department reports 817 arrests in Manchester, with 306 (37 percent) released on personal recognizance bail shortly after the time of their arrest. From March 2023 to March 2024, the Manchester Police Department reports 4,529 arrests, with 1,178 (26 percent) released on personal recognizance bail.


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About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.