SANTA FE ― Monday Feb. 15, Senate Joint Resolution 1, the Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment, unanimously passed the House of Representatives.
The Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment will allow defendants who pose a clear threat to the community to be held without bail. Conversely, non-violent defendants who are unable to pay bail where evidence shows they pose no threat to the community can be released with non-monetary restrictions.
“Jail should be for violent people, not poor people,” stated Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas, the bill’s sponsor. “This is a major step forward for criminal justice reform in New Mexico. We must change the constitution to allow judges to hold violent offenders without bond. At the same time, we can save taxpayers $18 million per year by releasing those accused of low level non-violent misdemeanors. The Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment creates real reform in our criminal justice system. I am very proud of this legislation and all of the hard work our judges, law-makers, and bail bond leaders put into crafting this Constitutional language.”
Senate Joint Resolution 1 is the top public safety legislation of this entire 30 day Legislative Session. This legislation, if passed by the voters, will save the public millions of dollars and will create true criminal justice reform. The Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment was amended in committee and now includes new language that specifies more clearly which defendants can be released due to an inability to post bond.
The Bail Reform Constitutional Amendment now heads to voters in November.