In the same spirit as that of the unified family court as it is implemented in Florida and certain other states, New Hampshire is on the verge of passing a bill that is on the cusp of criminal and family law.
The proposed legislation would introduce as a consideration for the judge presiding over bail hearings whether a defendant is a single parent whose child or children would have to go into foster care if that parent were confined prior to trial.
A disproportionate number of single mothers are reportedly confined before trial because they have insufficient resources to gain their freedom with bail.
Apparently, this bill could save the state of New Hampshire a nice chunk of change. To illustrate, in New Hampshire, a year’s incarceration and a year’s foster care each cost about $30,000, yielding a savings to the government of at least $60,000 per single mother freed on bail.
If passed, the proposed legislation would also spare some children temporary upheaval which is, ultimately, for nothing.