Lawmakers continue push for reforms to the bail system

Proposed legislation would allow state prosecutors to appeal bad bail decisions

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After raids in Springfield and West Springfield were announced last week and Operation Full Throttle 3 in Holyoke announced this week, law enforcement and city officials are renewing their call for more support from the justice system.

The state recommends bail by considering factors like a person’s past criminal history, and if their offense is violent. But it’s up to a judge to set that bail.

Springfield City Councilor and Public Safety Chair Tom Ashe told 22News they are committed to locking up repeat violent offenders, not addicts.

“We’re not talking about holding someone who is addicted to drugs,” Ashe said. “That’s a whole separate issue and those folks need treatment. We are talking about the prolific repeat offenders who are supplying narcotics on the streets.”

Ashe, along with Springfield’s Mayor and the Hampden County District Attorney, supported 2015 legislation that would allow state prosecutors to appeal bad bail decisions, giving them the same rights as defendants.

The proposal is still pending in the State House.