Dear Representative Katko,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 5797, the “Stop Enabling Repeat Violence and Endangering (SERVE) Our Communities Act.”
Bail reform and similar criminal justice reforms pertaining to juveniles in certain jurisdictions have taken away judicial oversight by mandating the automatic release of young offenders charged with non-violent crimes. Certain reforms have also encouraged juveniles, some charged with violent crimes, to be sent to family court as opposed to criminal court. While the intent was to minimize the impact on vulnerable individuals, it has instead led to a public safety threat. These reforms have allowed young criminals to return to the streets without receiving rehabilitation for their crimes.
Your legislation would establish a $10 million annual grant program until fiscal year 2028. These grants would be awarded to states and localities for anti-recidivism programming. Eligible jurisdictions will need to have a “dangerous standard” mandate that allows a State court or magistrate to consider the danger an individual poses to public safety when determining bail or pretrial release conditions. In addition, jurisdictions would be required to show actions taken towards expanding efforts to hire and retain law enforcement officers, administering a public education program to combat anti-police sentiment, or recently enacted a “dangerous standard” mandate. This bill would not only improve our justice system, but also address the issue of recidivism in our country.
On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this necessary legislation. If I can provide any additional information about this bill, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.