The Utah Legislatures convenes on Monday, and Hillyard plans to file a bill involving pretrial releases for inmates who are jailed for minor crimes. He said 62 percent of the inmates nationally have never been convicted. Through the current system, he says, those who have committed minor crimes often wind up in jail for lengthy periods of time.
“They’ve got families, they’ve got things, and we’ve got to get them out,” said Hillyard. “And that would save paying the bondsman. The trouble we find when people spend very long in jail, even a week, is they lose their jobs, they sometimes lose their family, and when they finally get out three or four weeks later, when they should have only spent maybe overnight or two nights or even sometimes no time in jail at all, they’re really behind the eight ball.”
Hillyard said he would like to see a bill passed where the pretrial release process works better and where families are made aware of that process.