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.
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.
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.
Sounds awesome, right? We take pride in our work, too!
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.
So, yeah, lots of defendants to worry about! We consider ourselves partners in the reform process, not bystanders.
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:
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.