Archive for October, 2012

War on Public Safety and The Bail Industry

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) has declared a War on Public Safety by going after the commercial bail system. Bail is an Eight Amendment right which protects the “innocent until proven guilty” from being held in custody, on excessive bail, prior to trial. JPI suggestions sound very altruistic and “warm and fuzzy”, but the truth is that their plan will put more and more of the public in danger from the criminal element, while costing U.S. Tax Payers millions of more dollars; at a time when our governments are already near, if not in, bankruptcy!

Dr. Dennis A. Bartlett, Executive Director of the American Bail Coalition has summarized this attack, exposing the lies and misrepresentations of the JPI claims:

There is  a war being waged on the criminal justice system.  This is a war being funded by government agencies on the bail industry. A war being waged with taxpayer dollars against the bail industry that produces  revenue for states and local communities.  A war being waged that adversely impacts our communities’ public safety interests.

  • Did you know that violent career criminals are being released from jail on nothing but a promise to return for their court dates?
  • Did you know that your tax dollars are used to fund these releases? 
  • Did you know that almost 30% of those people released on a “promise” never show up to court? 
  • Did you know that no one goes after those people to bring them back? 
  • Did you know that the only way these persons are returned to custody is when they are ultimately re- arrested for additional crimes…thus creating another crime victim in the process?
  • Did you know that there is a method of pretrial release that doesn’t cost taxpayers anything? 
  • Did you know that there is a method of pretrial release that ensures that 99% of those released make it to court…and that for those who do not make it to court, it pays a financial penalty to the county?

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, then you will want to read the following document. Over the past few months, The Justice Policy Institute has released two separate whitepapers designed to criticize and attack the commercial bail bonding industry, or “Money Bail” system as they refer to it. Both of these so called “research” documents are not only riddled with anti-bail propaganda, but also are filled with misinformation, unchecked facts and baseless claims against private businesses. Even simple things like the names and locations of specific counties are misrepresented (i.e., Broward County Texas…there is no such county). In response, the American Bail Coalition (ABC) thought it important to clarify and correct the many misrepresentations found in these publications. This document is a critical analysis of the two JPI whitepapers. It points out the many deceptions being promulgated by JPI, and also provides real facts, quotes and statistics that support the existence of commercial bail bonding as the most effective form of pretrial release. We have identified 18 key deceptions in the JPI documents. Each of these deceptions is identified and responded to with what we call a “Bail Truth.” Also provided at the end of this document, as an Appendix, is a list of questions that every citizen, county commissioner, judge, law enforcement official, legislator, etc. should be asking about their county’s Pretrial Service Agency. From the risk assessment methodology they say is being used to how their performance is measured, we think that every taxpayer and community member has the right to know these things. More Information on the  War on Public Safety from the  American Bail Coalition