TERRE HAUTE, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV)– Criminal Rule 26 allows those who may not be able to pay their bond, to be released without bail or on their own recognizance.
Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse said the law, which went into effect Jan. 1, is a work in progress.
“The last thing we want to do is release somebody that is a threat to our community. That’s what this jail is for to keep people that are a threat, where they can’t hurt somebody. But there are people that do make mistakes and could be released without bail,” said Plasse.
A person’s chance at being released without bail, is based on a certain criteria.
“Bonds will be set on a merit basis. They will look back at a person’s history, whether they have violence in their past, repeat offenders, whether or not they are suitable for bond,” said Sullivan County Sheriff, Clark Cottom.
Cottom said the rule will allow all offenders the chance to await court proceedings at home regardless of income.
“In the past, you could have two people arrested for the very same crime. If one person was able to get to the resources to get money to bond out of jail, they were free. Another person who may be less of a threat to the community, may be held up in jail simply because they did not have the resources.
Vigo County Prosecutor, Terry Modesitt, said the new law will bring clarity about an offender’s past prior to their first court date.
“I think the benefit is we will be more informed and have more information with regard to the defendant prior to making a decision on what all of our positions are going to be as far as that being released at some point,” said Modesitt.
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