NH Senate passes bail bill for single parents facing trial

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The New Hampshire State Senate wants judges to consider letting single parents go free before trials, even if they can’t post bond.

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would let judges release parents before trial, if their children would need state care during their incarceration. Under current law, judges can only consider the defendant’s flight risk or risk to public safety. Democratic state Senator Deborah Reynolds, the bill’s sponsor, said almost half of New Hampshire’s female inmates are single parents.

Democratic state Senator Margaret Hassan added that placing kids in state care costs $25,000 per child. She said most female inmates aren’t a threat to public safety. Republican state Sen. Jack Barnes spoke against the bill, saying it gives judges too much power. The bill now goes to the House.

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