Sununu Calls For Changes To Bail Reform

Oct 4, 2019

Credit Emily Corwin / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu plans to create a bipartisan group of lawmakers to review bail reform legislation.

Sununu said in a statement Friday the legislative group will find solutions to not only fix bail reform, but overhaul the system.

Law enforcement officials have called for changes to bail reform since it first went into effect over a year ago.

Police chiefs across the state have said because of bail reform, officers are having to arrest and then release the same people multiple times on personal recognizance bail.

Earlier this week, Manchester aldermen voted to send a letter to lawmakers detailing the how it’s affecting the city. Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig announced she also supports making changes to bail reform.

Ben Vihstadt, a spokesperson for the governor’s office, says Sununu wants to streamline the reform process to ensure the public is safe and no one is held on bail solely because they cannot afford it.

A bail commission also exists, and it’s scheduled to meet Oct. 18 to discuss how the law is working.

The commission is made up of stakeholders, including lawmakers, law enforcement, representatives from the courts, public defenders and the ACLU of New Hampshire.

The ACLU of New Hampshire political director Jeanne Hruska says the law does allow prosecutors to hold people pretrial without bail who are a danger to themselves and others.

Hruska says the ACLU of New Hampshire wants to make sure that measure is correctly implemented, but that people are not detained pretrial simply because they are poor.