MADISON, WI – Rep. Jon Plumer (R – Lodi) joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues in voting yesterday afternoon to amend the Wisconsin State Constitution’s bail provisions. The proposed amendment would allow courts to consider relevant factors when setting bail amounts.
“Wisconsinites are tired of seeing violent and repeat offenders being released with absurdly low bail amounts,” said Rep. Plumer. “The changes to our constitution will help our communities avoid unnecessary and avoidable violence.”
Currently, 48 states allow courts to consider “dangerousness” when setting criteria for pretrial release. The changes that are proposed in Wisconsin would strike a balance between protecting our communities and the presumption of innocence for the accused. Judges would be allowed to consider the seriousness of the offense, risk to the community, and the previous record of the accused when determining bail amounts or if bail should be denied.
“It is time we take action as a state to reform out bail procedures,” said Rep. Plumer.
“Empowering our courts to protect the public’s safety is a common sense solution to deal with violent offenders.”
The legislation now heads to the state Senate for consideration. After a proposed amendment passes the legislature in two consecutive sessions, it will appear on a ballot statewide for approval by the voters.