MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsinites would find it easier to search for information about how their district attorneys and court officials set bail under a bill authored by Senator Julian Bradley, R–Franklin, that passed the Wisconsin State Senate on Tuesday.
“Transparency is desperately needed in our justice system,” Senator Bradley said. “Our DAs and judges must know there will be thorough scrutiny of their decisions to set bail that allows dangerous criminals to commit violent and deadly crimes. The crime epidemic in our state is out of control, and this bill would create a helpful tool to let the public take action and hold their elected officials accountable.”
Senate Bill 857 ensures accountability in the bail process by creating a bond transparency report. This bill requires the Department of Justice to publish on its website an annual searchable report detailing the following for each crime committed in Wisconsin:
- The county where the charges were filed
- The name of the prosecuting attorney
- The name of the court official making bond decisions
- The case details, including charges filed
- The conditions of the bond, including the amount, or whether it’s a signature bond
“This bill is just the beginning,” Senator Bradley said. “The Legislature must immediately take additional action to address Wisconsin’s egregious low bail problem.”
Senator Bradley has also authored Senate Bill 856, which would set a $10,000 minimum for bail for criminals previously convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor. In addition, Bradley has also authored Senate Bill 858, setting a $5,000 minimum for bail for criminals previously convicted of bail jumping.