Senate Prioritizes Community Safety by Passing Bill to Strengthen Bail Determination Process for Dangerous Individuals

HARRISBURG – The Senate passed legislation to strengthen the bail determination process for dangerous individuals, according to Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24), one of the measure’s prime sponsors.

Senate Bill 1120 would ensure common-sense procedures are followed during this process for repeat violent offenders, drug dealers trafficking fentanyl and those who assault law enforcement officers or evade arrest on foot.

Currently, issuing authorities follow the Rules of Criminal Procedure, which have no safeguards during the bail process that take into account the provisions this legislation calls for. The legislation would specifically bar non-monetary forms of bail from being issued to those who pose a threat to public safety. In Pennsylvania, non-monetary forms of bail include but are not limited to, release on own recognizance or unsecured bail. These provisions are designed to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court while addressing concerns about flight risk and public safety. 

“It’s critical to stand with law abiding citizens and see to it that bad actors are taken off the streets,” said Pennycuick. “I’m proud to be a lead sponsor of this bill because ensuring public safety and protecting those who serve is a top priority.”

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and approximately 50 times more potent than heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl – the amount that fits on the tip of a pencil – is enough to kill an average person. An average of 14 Pennsylvanians die every day from overdose.

The bill is part of the Senate Republican effort to improve community safety across Pennsylvania. It now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senator Pennycuick’s Remarks

CONTACT: Lidia Di Fiore (215) 541-2388

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