The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will take up SB 1499/HB 1308 on Wednesday, March 31 at 9 a.m. (This page was last updated March 30, 2021. The current status of this bill can be found here.)
The purpose of bail is to incentivize a person to show up for their court date because they rely on receiving their money back.
Bail garnishment is the practice of using money posted to secure an individual’s release from jail to guarantee payment of future court-imposed debts.
In other words, under bail garnishment policies, the money posted to facilitate a person’s speedy pretrial release so that they can return to their work and family and prepare to defend against the charges they face may never be returned. This puts some families in an impossible position and the only affordable option for them may be to leave their loved one in jail, putting that individual at risk of losing employment, their children, and even their homes.
At least twelve counties in Tennessee currently garnish bail in this manner.
This unfair practice deters individuals from posting cash bonds, taking money from the very families who can least afford it while doing nothing to promote justice, court appearance or public safety.
SB 1499/HB 1308 would prohibit the use of bail deposits to pay for court fines, fees or restitution.
TAKE ACTION: Please call members of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and ask them to end bail garnishment.
Sample Phone Script
Hello, my name is ________________. I am calling urge you to end bail garnishment by voting yes on HB 1308.
Bail garnishment is an unfair practice that deters individuals from posting cash bonds, taking money from the very families who can least afford it while doing nothing to promote justice, court appearance or public safety.
Please vote yes on HB 1308. Thank you.
House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Members:
|Rep. Bill Beckemail@example.com|
|Rep. Michael Curciofirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Clay Doggettemail@example.com|
|Rep. Andrew Farmerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Bruce Griffeyemail@example.com|
|Rep. G.A. Hardawayfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Dan Howellemail@example.com|
|Rep. William Lamberthfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Debra Moodyemail@example.com|
|Rep. Lowell Russellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Jerry Sextonemail@example.com|