Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) introduced the H.R. 6016 Citizens Right to Know Act. 

Right now, U.S. taxpayers fund millions of dollars annually for the operation of pre-trial release programs – government-funded programs that allow accused criminals to await their trial at home.  These programs—filled with many cases that involve repeat, violent and hardened criminals--operate with little oversight. As a result, taxpayers are literally bailing out dangerous criminals around the country.  In some instances, those released commit terrible crimes while on pretrial release.  With increased oversight of the pre-trial release program, these crimes can be avoided.

“Right now the federal government is engaging in the ultimate taxpayer bailout, a bailout for hardened criminals,” said Congressman Poe. “Their crimes run the gamut, from shoplifting to murder. My bill will require record-keeping and reporting on participants in these federally funded pre-trial release programs, specifically whether the defendants have a history of criminal behavior, whether or not they actually appear for their trial, and whether they have ever failed to appear for trial in prior cases. Taxpayers deserve to know if their resources are being spent wisely, and that their communities are being protected.”

Note: Congressman Poe, a former judge, originally introduced similar legislation during the 112th Congress.