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Bonding for the Better Good

Crowd of citizens devoted to repealing New York's latest bail reform bill gathered around man giving speech

By their very nature, a bail bondsman or bondswoman isn’t shy. No nonsense and straight shooters are good descriptions of our personality types. Now, as for bail recovery agents – aka the Dog the Bounty Hunters of the world – those folks are more outgoing and aggressive! But we’re also united behind the concept that the bail bonding industry provides some measure of good within the criminal justice system, and, by extension, for our great country!

But of course, there's a lot of crap going on about how the system needs to be reformed, that poor criminals – often innocently charged with crimes, apparently – are the real victims. So over the last few decades, we’ve seen bail reform morph into the latest cause célèbre with protests, pontifications, and new laws that give a slight edge to the defendant.

Colorado and New York Under Pressure for Bail Bonds Reform

Let’s now look at how bail bonds reform came about in Colorado and New York, for instance, and see how they compare in their goals.

Colorado:

  • “The poorest of Coloradans would no longer sit in jail for sleeping on a park bench or drinking in public because they can’t afford to pay bail for minor offenses.”
  • “The law would ban judges from setting monetary bail for traffic offenses and petty crimes unless a defendant chooses to pay instead of waiting for a bond hearing.”
  • Proponents insist the law will reduce the number of people in Colorado’s jails and keep people from being detained for days or weeks before conviction of any crime.

New York:

  • “For most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, cash bail is no longer permitted. Judges must release individuals charged with those crimes with no cash bail, either on their own recognizance or with release conditions designed to ensure that the individual returns to court, such as pretrial supervision and text message reminders for court dates.
  • “For those charged with the most serious crimes — including almost all violent felonies and certain nonviolent felonies, such as sex offenses and witness tampering — very little has changed in New York. In those cases, judges will retain the option to set cash bail.”
  • How Does a Bondsman Work in Colorado?

    Believe me when I say our work, overall, isn’t as sexy as what may be portrayed by the press, social media, or reality television. With all the hoopla surrounding bond reform in Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Denver County, or any other affected community, we’re pretty busy. We take reforming our industry seriously, but what do we do? Here’s a quick rundown of the types of bail agents you may encounter.

    • General Bail Bondsman. In many states, the title of bail bondsman and bail recovery agent are interchangeable and fall into this category. This type of bondsman (surety bondsman) is licensed to offer bail bonds for defendants accused of crimes from driving citations to capital murder. We will put up the money for the entire bail and can get a percentage as a fee for giving the money, usually 10-20%.
    • Federal Bondsman. These guys work with defendants charged with a federal crime, guaranteeing the accused will appear in court and will agree to all pre-trial release conditions.
    • Immigration Bondsman work with securing the release of a defendant from an immigration detention facility. They regularly interact with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

    Sounds awesome, right? We take pride in our work, too!

    What’s the Big Deal with Bail Bonds Reform?

    The “big deal” about bail bond reform – in states where laws have passed the last several years, and where lawmakers and supporters are clamoring for new laws – at least from our perspective, is that it doesn’t address the two biggest issues plaguing the criminal justice system: Overcrowded jails and prisons, and lack of funding. Most of the biggest jail facilities in the country are hopelessly overcrowded and underfunded. Do we have the answers? Heck no, but we should be part of the conversation and not vilified in the process! If jails are overcrowded, judges, magistrates, and prosecutors sometimes let defendants walk off scot-free, bail-free. Sometimes, these folks are truly bad people. Like this lady, or this fine dude. And if a criminal leaves court or jail without consequence, what are the chances he or she will slip into recidivism? Probably kind of high, we think.

    Here are some quick facts about U.S. prisons:

    • There are almost 2.3 million people in 6,843 facilities in U.S. states and territories.
    • Nearly 20% of all prisoners have been locked up for a drug offense.
    • Private jail cells only account for 8% of total U.S. prison cells.

    So, yeah, lots of defendants to worry about! We consider ourselves partners in the reform process, not bystanders.

    Final Summary

    To sum it all up, bail bond reform is a super-hot potato getting tossed around. Who’ll catch it and not get burned? Change is inevitable for everyone – the industry, law enforcement, victims, criminals, affected communities. What do people think?

    On the side of lawmakers thinking twice about their decisions, we give you the following comments to chew on:

    • “This needs to change. We’re going in the wrong direction,” said New York State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, said at a recent discussion about tweaking the state’s bail reform legislation.
    • “The danger is, some of these individuals are re-offending,” added Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone.

    Here’s a lawmaker defending reform: “Violent criminals are not being released as a result of bail reform,” as spoken by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, a key supporter of the law.

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    Tayler Made Bail Bonding is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

    (303) 623-0399
    email@taylermadebailbonding.com
    3900 South Federal Blvd
    Englewood, CO 80110
    @TaylerMadeBail