Archive for January, 2014

Commercial Bail Bonds is Part of the Solution to Overcrowding in Prisons

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Prisons are a burden to the taxpayer and strain both state and county resources; this is a well known fact and agreed by all stakeholders. Yet the system as it stands seeks to increase the cost to taxpayers with additional programs and more mandates from the very system that has caused the problem in the first place by placing emphasis on incarceration.

The increase in the number of overcrowded prisons has become a subject of alarm more so because of the contentious issues as how to effectively rectify the situation. The debate has been raging on which of the two options available is the better option. The two options are sometimes represented as Bail Bonds versus a Pre Trial government run system throughout the state. The pre trial system is not a new practice in California; it has been practiced with effective results as far as reducing prison numbers is concerned in San Francisco for some years now.

Many advocates for pre trial place the blame of overcrowding in prisons to the Commercial Bail Bonds industry. The reasoning promoted is that the bail system only works for the rich and many who cannot afford bail end up in prison waiting for trial. However, this is a narrow view of the debate and focusing on the wrong issues related to the cause of overcrowding and security of taxpaying citizens. The focus should be on guaranteeing the attendance of the accused person to trial and preserving public safety. In this regard the use of commercial Bail Bonds is more effective and successful.

The commercial vested interest the accused and relatives have makes them more accountable over any check the pre trial release can offer. Besides, it offers substantial standards; the more serious the crime the higher the bond. Studies with varying degrees have proved that the bail bonds are more successful at getting accused persons appear in court. The monetary incentive is both for the bondsman and the accused person. The bail company has resources and motivation to ensure their client appears in court.

This is not to say there is no place or instances where pre-trial release can work effectively. On the contrary, when it comes to situations where the accused persons really require special assistance like rehabilitation then a pre trial release is more effective and relevant. However, many individuals who can take care of themselves on their own or through family and friends should be held accountable for crimes they are accused of. The focus should not be on the bed space available in jail and how fast people get release but rather on mechanisms that ensure appearance to court and public safety.