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house Bill H.R. 2152

Should State & Local Gov’ts Publish Info About Defendants in Pretrial Release Programs or Lose Grant Funding?

Argument in favor

Pretrial release programs only protect public safety and taxpayer resources if the accused criminals participating in them aren’t dangerous and eventually show up for their court date. State and local governments which operate them using federal grants should publish information about enrollees to promote transparency.

Delmar's Opinion
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05/08/2018
I want to know how my tax dollars are being used and whether our local government is doing its job well
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Brian's Opinion
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05/09/2018
But there’s have to be some restrictions for privacy and their innocent until proven guilty.
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tituswife's Opinion
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05/09/2018
You take federal funding - you play by their rules. We have a right to know if the states in the prog are using that money as allotted. This will not affect the accused's status, as it has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.
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Argument opposed

This is a backdoor way of undermining state and local governments’ pretrial release programs and promoting the use of money bail systems, which are unfair to the poor and unproductive. It requires the production of a report that violate criminals’ privacy and would cut all DOJ grant funding to states and cities which don’t produce it.

Sharon's Opinion
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05/08/2018
It seems to me that if this is PRETRIAL - The “suspect” would have the “Presumption of Innocence, Until PROVEN GUILTY. So, releasing ANY information given would be inappropriate, maybe slanderous and it could dilute the Jury Pool in small towns. Much information is already on the Internet. Leave it at that until the outcome of The Persons Trial for God’s Sake! Let’s keep in mind that THIS IS A DEMOCRACY! We CANNOT LET THE GOVERNMENT JUST release whatever the hell they want to! More and more it seems the very things that ALL OF US CONSIDER AMERICAN is overlooked. We have to stop this. VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS ON 11/6/18
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Megan's Opinion
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05/09/2018
Remember, these are "Pretrial", that means persons who have NOT been convicted of a crime, their rights must be protected!
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David 's Opinion
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05/09/2018
Unless we officially give up on being a nation of law this has no place. The programs are PRETRIAL, meaning there is a degree of privacy due regardless of the funding source. If you want the information file a request under the FOIA.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed May 9th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 221 Yea / 197 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedApril 26th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2152?

This bill — known as the Citizens’ Right to Know Act — would require states and local governments receiving Dept. of Justice (DOJ) grant funding and using it for a pretrial release program to report annually about funds received by the program. The report would include the name of each defendant participating in the pretrial release program, occasions on which they failed to make a court appearance, and information related to their previous arrest record. Jurisdictions which fail to provide this report would lose all of their grant funding for the following fiscal year.

Impact

Participants in pretrial release programs; state and local governments; and the DOJ.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2152

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost less than $500,000 annually.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced this bill to increase oversight of pretrial release programs in order to prevent criminals from being released and never returning for their court date:

“The federal government has engaged in the ultimate taxpayer bailout, a bailout for hardened criminals with no respect for the rule of law. From sexual assault to flat out murder, these criminals belong in jail. Once free from the threat of prison, there is nothing to prevent a wrongdoer from committing yet another crime. My bill will require record-keeping and reporting on participants in these federally funded pre-trial release programs, specifically whether the defendants have a history of criminal behavior, whether or not they actually appear for their trial, and whether they have ever failed to appear for trial in prior cases.”

House Democrats expressed their opposition to this bill in its committee report:

“Incarcerating people because they cannot afford to pay bail is unjust. Money bail is unfair to the indigent, unproductive, and expensive for American taxpayers. Unfortunately, H.R. 2152 appears to be intended to perpetuate this practice. Because of our concerns about the operation and impact of this measure, and because the bill fails to reform the system of money bail used by many jurisdictions in this country, we oppose H.R. 2152 and must respectfully dissent.”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee on a 14-10 vote and has the support of 31 cosponsors, all of whom are Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: IPGGutenburgUKLtd / iStock)

AKA

Citizens' Right to Know Act of 2018

Official Title

To require States and units of local government receiving funds under grant programs operated by the Department of Justice, which use such funds for pretrial services programs, to submit to the Attorney General a report relating to such program, and for other purposes.

    I want to know how my tax dollars are being used and whether our local government is doing its job well
    Like (11)
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    It seems to me that if this is PRETRIAL - The “suspect” would have the “Presumption of Innocence, Until PROVEN GUILTY. So, releasing ANY information given would be inappropriate, maybe slanderous and it could dilute the Jury Pool in small towns. Much information is already on the Internet. Leave it at that until the outcome of The Persons Trial for God’s Sake! Let’s keep in mind that THIS IS A DEMOCRACY! We CANNOT LET THE GOVERNMENT JUST release whatever the hell they want to! More and more it seems the very things that ALL OF US CONSIDER AMERICAN is overlooked. We have to stop this. VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS ON 11/6/18
    Like (124)
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    Remember, these are "Pretrial", that means persons who have NOT been convicted of a crime, their rights must be protected!
    Like (59)
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    Unless we officially give up on being a nation of law this has no place. The programs are PRETRIAL, meaning there is a degree of privacy due regardless of the funding source. If you want the information file a request under the FOIA.
    Like (43)
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    Regardless of wanting evil destroyed, We live in a nation of laws. They have rights in the penal system and those rights should be respected, especially in the death mode running this county now.
    Like (22)
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    If Pre-trial, wouldn’t this affect outcomes of the trial? Privacy is also an issue.
    Like (15)
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    Absolutely not!! What happened to the presumption of innocence contained in the Bill of Rights. The author of this bill is clearly uneducated and uninformed and should be ashamed.
    Like (11)
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    Nay! Next stupid question.
    Like (9)
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    This whole thing is bogus. PRETRIAL shows you that whoever these people are MIGHT NOT BE GUILTY. To publish info that might be incorrect can NOT BE TAKEN BACK. It’s out there forever even if the person is innocent. People in The U S are INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY, NOT the other way around.
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    NO. We are “Innocent until proven guilty”. Pre-Trial does Not indicate guilt. To the folks that ‘want to see where their tax $’s are being spent...you’re going to pull the thousands of records produced and go over the info? Right?!😂 Douse the torches, Be Calm and Carry on.
    Like (7)
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    But there’s have to be some restrictions for privacy and their innocent until proven guilty.
    Like (6)
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    Even the ACLU opposes this. https://www.aclu.org/letter/aclu-opposes-hr-2152-citizens-right-know-act-2017-legislation-requires-selective-reporting
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    The vital word is pretrial. Since they have not been found guilty they are presumed not guilty. Released information could be personally destructive to their life and reputation.
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    Not until the person is found guilty.
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    NEVER
    Like (3)
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    Free Gary Thibodeau.
    Like (3)
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    Yes with restrictions for some privacy
    Like (3)
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    This doesn't do anything to reform the prison system and seems to encourage adding to the amount of people entering prison. This should not be called a citizens right to know act. This is specifically for government officials to keep an eye on people.
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    Sabotaging any justice or mercy for the poor once again is shameful. No!
    Like (3)
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    Keeping a log or report for the public on participants and whether they return to court? Shouldn’t the existing staff be keeping track of this anyway? And if they don’t show up for court, the courts will know and assign the sheriff or police to go get them. If someone decides not to show, being on a report is not going to make a difference. On the flip side, some Pretoria’s programs are successful and serve their purpose well. Participants are not yet convicted. Those who successfully complete them deserve the right not to have their name made public and deal with their issues in private (often pre trial programs are drug or 1st offense related) and try to turn things around before getting deeper into the system.
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