WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA.), and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released the following statements after the U.S. House of Representatives passed by bipartisan vote, H.R. 2152, Citizens Right to Know.
Each year, millions of dollars are federal grant money is used by some state and local pre-trial release programs. These programs allow criminals to be released from detention and await trial at home. Unfortunately, some jurisdictions overuse these programs and release many repeat and dangerous criminals with little or no oversight. Citizens Right to Know addresses these concerns by mandating that any state or local pre-trial release program that accepts federal money must report basic information such as: who participates in the programs, the criminal records of participants, the appearance rate at trial, and previous failure to appear of program participants.
“I would like to thank Majority leader McCarthy and Chairman Goodlatte for bringing this important piece of legislation to the floor of the House. Dangerous criminals lurk on the streets of our cities, communities, and towns, free from the threat of prison- at the taxpayers’ expense,” said Congressman Poe. “After committing a crime, pre-trial release programs allow wrongdoers to be released from jail and await trial at home. These programs are often funded by tax-payer dollars and require little to no oversight of the released individual. There are no protections in place to prevent criminals from committing yet another crime. Citizens Right to Know alters this dangerous practice for pre-trial release programs that receive federal funds by requiring record-keeping and reporting on participants. House passage of this important legislation will help end taxpayer-funded bailouts of hardened criminals.”
“Criminal defendants who pose a threat to others belong in jail before their trial, not back on the streets,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “The Citizens’ Right to Know Act ensures that Americans will know if state and local governments use
“The primary duty of the federal government is to keep Americans safe, and we must ensure that taxpayer dollars are not being used to allow hardened, violent criminals to return to the streets while they await their trials,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). “The Citizens’ Right to Know Act requires the reporting of information and statistics about the grants used by state and local governments that allow defendants to await their trial at home instead of in jail. This commonsense oversight will provide Congress critical information on how taxpayer funds are being used and who is benefiting from these programs, so that reforms can be made if necessary. I commend Congressman Poe for his dedication to ensuring the safety of our communities and applaud the House for passing his bill today.”
Citizens Right to know is supported by the Professional Bail Agents of the U.S., the American Bail Agent Coalition, Americans for Safe Neighborhoods, and the National Association of Police Organizations, American Civil Rights Union, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - Criminal Justice Reform Task Force, American Values, Children First Foundation, Christian Coalition, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary, Crime Survivors, Crime Victims United, Free Congress / American Opportunity Foundation, Klaas Kids Foundation, Let Freedom Ring, National Association of Police Organizations, Inc, and Parents of Murdered Children.