Pretrial Bail Reform Takes Effect

July 10, 2017

Legislation I supported to reform Connecticut's pre-trial bail system took effect on July 1. Adults who are accused of committing misdemeanors and are unable to afford cash bail often languish in jail for weeks or months, costing the state millions. This system unfairly discriminates against the poor, as more well-off people accused of identical crimes can pay bail and walk free until their trial.

Those who can't pay are at risk of losing their job or housing while detained - all because they don't have a few hundred dollars. Public Act 17-145 ends cash only bail for certain misdemeanors, saving the state approximately $31 million over the next two years.

An individual can still be detained if a judge determines they are a threat to public safety. The legislation reduces the maximum time an individual can be held in jail pretrial for misdemeanor charges from 30 to 14 days.

This law is an important step in making Connecticut's justice system fairer and more efficient. I hope you'll watch my speech on the House floor in support of this law, above.