To Bail or Not to Bail – That is the Question!

The issue of bail reform has been a major topic of discussion lately by putting the bail industry under a microscope across the country. The pros and cons of the value and functionality of the private commercial bail industry have been dissected to the point that the real value and functionality of the bail process is being diminished.

The bail bond business has had its place working tandem with the justice system since Medieval Times, and has more than proven its value throughout that time. The key debate is; should the justice system take charge and make the decision to release offenders on their own recognizance (OR) and/or resort to using electronic monitoring as an alternative to ensure that these offenders appear in court as scheduled, while at the expense of local taxpayers; or should bail continue to play the valuable roll is has for hundreds of years with a 90+% success rate of the accountability of offenders showing up for their court appearances.

Besides the success rate that the bail bond industry can tout, the bottom line issue is that without private commercial bail bonds there will be a HUGE cost to taxpayers, community police and the justice system, in general. Plus, not to mention, the lack of manpower to keep track of each individual offender they will have to monitor for months at a time. $$$ that will add up faster than the blink of an eye!

In today’s economy, why would government want to increase their workload and put more pressure on a system that can’t handle it already, when there is an industry of “family-owned” bail bondsmen who are accustomed to keeping close tabs on their clients and absorbing the risk of forfeiture motivating them everyday?

The bail bond industry has proven time and time again that when an individual involves family and loved-ones in their bail process [most often by putting up the money and even their personal property], they will appear at all their court dates. And, they will appear primarily because they have been fortunate enough to have family that cares enough about them (unconditional love) to help get them out of jail when they’re arrested.

But even more importantly, they have now made a monetary commitment on the offender’s behalf and often times put their home, car and life savings on the line. This is a motivator for the family to ‘guarantee’ that the offender will appear in court as scheduled because they have a great deal to lose if the offender skips bail. The individual, who “co-signs” the bail bond agreement, will be totally responsible for the entire amount of the bond if their loved one absconds. And since the bondsman faces the same risk, they will all work together to see that this doesn’t happen.

In conclusion, why would the federal government, local police departments and the courts argue that the commercial bail bond industry should be abolished, with its success rate and personal risk-taking, at no cost to taxpayers, versus adding funding pressures, unmanageable accountability and a huge cost to taxpayers?

Forgetting that I’m a bail bondsman, I am a taxpayer like anyone else, and would not be happy with this added cost being imposed upon me, especially without my input. As a taxpayer yourself, how would you feel if faced with increased taxes without any notice?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic.