Rep. John Gillespie passes bill requiring pretrial monitoring for people charged with violent crimes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. John Gillespie, R-Memphis, requiring pretrial monitoring for defendants charged with violent crimes now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

House Bill 1718, which passed the General Assembly in April, ensures defendants charged with Class A, B, C or D felonies are being monitored while released on bail if services are available, in addition to any other conditions of release.

“Disastrous soft-on-crime policies and years of bad leadership have enabled criminals to take over Memphis,” Gillespie said. “Releasing people charged with violent crimes back onto the street without appropriate monitoring and precautions has further weakened safety and compromised public trust in the justice system. This legislation will send the message that Memphis is no longer a safe haven for criminals.”

House Bill 1718 will require pretrial monitoring agencies to notify the court in the event a defendant breaks any conditions of release and to declare a forfeiture of bail. The legislation allows a criminal or circuit court to issue a warrant for their arrest.  

State Rep. John Gillespie represents House District 97, which includes part of Shelby County. He is vice-chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee and also serves on the Education Administration Committee, Health Committee, Criminal Justice Subcommittee and the Higher Education Subcommittee.

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