Manchester Officials To Ask State To Rework Bail Reform

Oct 2, 2019

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen plans to send a letter to state legislators describing how bail reform is affecting New Hampshire's largest city.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of sending the letter.

This follows months of complaints from Manchester police about bail reform. The department says officers are having to make multiple arrests on suspects who are released on personal recognizance bail.

Police Chief Carlo Capano has been outspoken about his dissatisfaction with bail reform in public meetings and on social media.

“At this point, talking to quite a few chiefs across the state at our meetings, and talking to several county attorneys, it’s not working,” Capano said at a meeting of the Manchester Police Commission. “We’re still having issues with this.”

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig also supports making changes to bail reform legislation, saying it's had unintended effects on the Queen City.

Craig said in a statement to NHPR that she believes people should not be incarcerated solely for their inability to pay bail.

“However, those causing risk to our community and violent offenders should have bail restrictions imposed and should not be released on PR bail,” Craig said.

Advocates for bail reform, including the ACLU of New Hampshire, have said the bail legislation is working as intended.