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New bill will reshape bail reform for offenders that commit violent crimes, give judges discretion

New legislation, if passed, would give judges the ability to use discretion when deciding if they’d like to release someone on bail.

The bill is being prepared by Representative John Katko.

Many victims feel that if the person accused of committing a crime toward them or their family had not been released on bail for a former charge, they would not have committed crimes against them.

It’s hard to say whether bail reform is responsible, but it’s one reason many officials want to the bill at least changed to better suit the safety of the community.

Katko is introducing the Stop Enabling Repeat Violence and Endangering Our Communities Act. This will not undo bail reform, something many activists feel is necessary in order to stop targeting poor people for minor infractions.

The act will give a judge discretion depending on how dangerous the offender is when they decide whether to release them on bail or not.

The bill plans to give $10 million to states that choose to allow judges to use discretion, and the money can be used to help stop repeat offenders.

Local law enforcement supports the bill. At the moment in Congress, it is only supported by Republicans.

Related: Bail reform is blamed across the state for the uptick in violence