Why commercial Bail & Bounty Hunters play a vital role in the criminal justice system.
Scott Bernstein – High Risk Fugitive Apprehension, Child Recovery Expert, Law Enforcement Trainer, Security Consultant, Speaker, Author
This is my take on the article written by Bruce Murphy for Urban Milwaukee. Link listed below.
Murphy’s Law: Bail Bond Bill Will Create Debtor’s Prisons urbanmilwaukee.com
Every research study ever done on pretrial release has shown that commercial bail bonding is the MOST effective form of release.
Defendants that arraigned on bail are based upon the severity on the crime(s) they commit and therefore the comment made that people are languishing away in jail because they cant afford a bail bond is absolutely false. This author needs to be schooled. With bail bonds as we know you only need to post 10% of the bond amount to get out of jail for 10% as opposed to having to pay the whole amount.
The author either seems to gloss over this fact or deliberately ignores it. The bottom line is a bail bond is an insurance policy. Just like any other insurance policy you pay a premium to the insurance agent for that coverage. If you drive a car and don’t have an accident or ticket, does your insurance company refund your premium? Of course not. What a commercial bail bond does is “GUARANTEE” that the defendant shows up for court. If they don’t the bail agent goes and gets them. If they don’t get them, they not the government or the taxpayer pay the full amount to the court.
When someone is let out through the current system in Wisconsin or Oregon for example, nobody goes and gets them, a warrant is issued and it becomes law enforcement’s job (at taxpayer’s dollar). Most times they are not picked up until they commit another offense and that can be a violent crime like rape or murder. Explain that to the victim of family member about pre-trial release and that they were release because they could not come up with $50.00!Also, if commercial bail is the cause of jail overcrowding than explain why Wisconsin jails are dealing with an overcrowding problem if there is currently no commercial bail allowed.
Here is a link to a story on the ACLU’s website about this problem (http://aclu-wi.org/story/more-money-prison-overcrowding-human-rights-crisis). The author’s [photo is at the end of the article. My response is noted below the end of the article. Remember…no commercial bail in Wisconsin and there is overcrowding. Interesting huh?
Also, in Wisconsin according to this welcome sign, the government wants their citizens to protect crime within their state and promote vigilantism in lieu of public safety. It seems that the shoot first posture applies to this state whether or not their citizens have been properly trained in any fashion at all in police procedure to determine if a crime is being committed and when to use the act of deadly force. “Acts of Criminal Violence” does not necessitate deadly force and will land your citizen is the can or 6 feet under. Where does it say that in the sign? Also, I believe the last time I checked and the first time I learned this in first grade and that Chicago and Illinois are pretty much one and the same.
I believe this exemplifies a clear message why I guess why their platform of bail is not required and their stance that commercial bail creates overcrowded and their solution to it by arming as many of their citizens. Beware great citizens of Wisconsin that as a Law Enforcement and Security trainer, career criminals are great shots and have killed many trained police officers and federal agents. I hope that when it comes down to the use of deadly force and your life or your children is on the line, that you are a better and more accurate shooter then a hardened criminal especially one who is on your pre-trial release program.
In regards to the statement that commercial bail costs the state money…really? How is that math being done? The current system requires tax dollars and lots of them. People have to come up with the full amount of bail (harder to do than just 10%) and sit in jail longer all on the taxpayers dime. With commercial bail, people are released quicker because they only have to come up with 10%. The insurance companies that back each bail bond pay a premium tax to the local jurisdiction (in California that premium tax amount topped $12 Million), and when they don’t perform, bail agents pay the full amount of the bond to the court. Explain to me where the cost is for the county. There is no cost. In fact, bail actually generates revenue. Additionally, in a recent study out of the University of Texas at Dallas, a researcher determined the cost of a failure to appear (when someone does not show up for court). Based on that amount (a little over $1,700 per defendant) the commercial bail industry saved Dallas County over $11 Million. Does that sound like an industry that costs the local jurisdictions money…hardly.
And now something that we can all agree is important, public safety. When people are released on a commercial bail bond, they are being watched and monitored by several people who all have skin in the game. The bail agent has put up his money and promise to the court (along with the insurance company). The family has put up financial assets to secure the defendants release. What this does is create a circle of influence around each defendant that both ensures they show up for court and in the process stay out of trouble. Financially secured release has been proven time and time again but every research study ever done to be the most effective form of release.