Each year, millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent towards the operation of pre-trial release programs– government-funded programs that allow accused criminals to await their trial at home. These programs—filled with many cases that involve repeat, violent and hardened criminals— often operate with little oversight. As a result, taxpayers are literally bailing out dangerous criminals around the country. In some instances, those released commit terrible crimes while on pretrial release or never bother returning for their court date. With increased oversight of the pre-trial release program, these crimes can be avoided.
“The federal government has engaged in the ultimate taxpayer bailout, a bailout for hardened criminals with no respect for the rule of law,” said Congressman Ted Poe. “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. Taxpayers deserve to know that their dollars are being spent wisely, and that their communities are being protected.”