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NCJ Number: NCJ 240924     Find in a Library
Title: For Better or For Profit: How the Bail Bonding Industry Stands in the Way of Fair and Effective Pretrial Justice
  Document URL: PDF 
Corporate Author: Justice Policy Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 09/2012
Page Count: 57
  Annotation: This policy paper presents a rationale for eliminating for-profit bail bonding as a means of gaining pretrial release for defendants, and it argues for other methods of pretrial release, such as the use of pretrial services agencies to determine a defendant’s risk for failure to appear at court and/or reoffend and then providing appropriate monitoring and supervision.
Abstract: Basing a defendant’s pretrial release on a bond provided by a for-profit private industry creates a system that is prone to corruption, criminal collusion, and the use of coercion against bonded individuals. This has resulted in a ban on for-profit bonding in four States. The bail bond industry touts its services as coming at no cost, but the system is very costly to the taxpayer and the individuals and families who enter into the bail bond agreement. Many of those who cannot or choose not to purchase a bail bond will remain in jail until their trial date, sometimes as long as a year. This has contributed to high jail populations, which is costly to taxpayers, defendants, and their families through the loss of employment and the ability to fulfill duties as a parent and spouse. The for-profit bail bond industry continues to prosper and grow despite decades of research and reform efforts. This is due largely to the political lobbying of the industry through the corporately financed American Legislative Exchange Council. The recommended alternative to this failed system is a government-funded pretrial system that involves statistically validated assessments of risk and a continuum of pretrial release options instead of money. This will result in reduced jail populations and needless stress on defendants and their families while taking into account public safety. 87 notes
Main Term(s): Court reform
Index Term(s): Bail/Financial Release ; Bail payment methods ; Bail bondsmen ; Pretrial procedures ; Bail bonds ; Pretrial release ; Alternatives to institutionalization ; Bail reform ; Pretrial programs ; Pretrial services agencies
Sponsoring Agency: Public Welfare Foundation
United States of America
Sale Source: Justice Policy Institute
1012 14th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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