Nashville Judges' Plan Could Release Inmates Without Bail

Posted at 10:10 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 23:18:54-05

With a proposed bail reform plan, Davidson County general judges will determine if a person with a misdemeanor will pay a cash bond or not or remain in jail until his or her trial.

District Attorney Glenn Funk says the pre-trial bond reform would look at misdemeanors like driving on a suspended license or a first offense shoplifting case.

This change would not mean charges are dropped but rather people with similar cases would not pay a bond. They would wait to face a judge.

Along with judges and the sheriff's department, Funk said he wants to find the right balance for citizens to not be punished pre-trial and keep the community safe. 

He said the bail reform will ake sure that criminals are not just released to go back and commit new crimes prior to a trial and those with charges will in fact show up for court.

Funk notes in the past, domestic violence or DUI suspects have been eligible to not pay bond but that could change. 

"We all have an interest in making sure the community is safe. We all have an interest in making sure that citizens who don't need to be in jail are not in jail," he said.

The goal is to unclog the jail system, save the city money and keep the community safe.

Each year, about 12,000 people are charged with misdemeanors who do not make bond before a trial.

Funk said about one-fourth are considered low-end misdemeanors. 

This proposed bond reform plan could take effect in March depending on a final vote from general judges.