WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding information about the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) monitoring and analyses of criminal pre-trial detention and conditional pre-trial release for individuals charged with violent felonies, and the data collection by DOJ on the violent crimes committed by individuals on pre-trial release. This request comes in direct response to the vicious attack at the Waukesha Christmas Parade by the release of a violent offender on $1,000 bail. The senator requested DOJ respond to his letter no later than December 28th.


“The attack on the Waukesha Christmas Parade by a repeat violent offender brought to the nation’s attention the issue of pre-trial release of criminal violent offenders and subsequent violent crimes committed by such individuals,” the senator wrote.  “This is not a singular issue; there are numerous reports from across the country of violent crimes committed by individuals out on pre-trial release after being charged for a felony violent offense. It is unclear if DOJ currently collects information on crimes committed by individuals on pre-trial release. Congress provides funding for DOJ to collect and analyze information on crime, including on pre-trial release, and I urge DOJ to publish such information immediately.”


“Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm admitted the $1,000 bail set for Brooks was ‘inappropriately low’ and ‘not consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to setting of bail.’ Recent reports demonstrate similar questionable pre-trial releases of violent offenders into communities. Failure to appear for mandatory court appearances and felony bail jumping increased in recent years in multiple jurisdictions across the country,” the senator went on to say.


The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

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