Bail Bonds a Better Alternative than PreTrial

No Free Bail - Do not Pass Go , Do not collect $200
No Free Bail - Do not Pass Go , Do not collect $200
Everybody Pays.
Everybody Pays.
No Free Lunch.
No Free Lunch.

The Truth about Bonds and Bail in America is a biased article written for the sole benefit of convincing taxpayers to back Pretrial Service Programs in the US.

There is a particular group out there that would like to see the bonds bail industry vanish. Their reasoning is hard to understand as anyone with half a brain can make the deductions themselves that bail is a much better alternative to pretrial. This group supports the end of bail and would push for pretrial release as the sole alternative for bail at the expense of taxpayers.

Pre Trial release was a program created for the indigent in the form of free bail. There might have been a need for such a program when you consider the poverty stricken not having the means of posting monetary bail. Unfortunately, the program just like most other government or state run programs has ended up being abused and/or lost perspective of its original goal. Most indigent are not elibible for the program especially if they are homeless or have mental disabilities.

In the US you are innocent until proven guilty. When you think of it, seems like pretrial programs go against this belief. If you are innocent until proven guilty, as the US Constitution technically purports, then why on earth would one have to submit to pretrial rules before being convicted? Coniditions of release include calling in and reporting once or more times a week, possible drug testing, other conditions to adhere to are routinely imposed irrelevant to the original alleged charge. Many people given the choice would opt for bail instead of pretrial because of these same restrictions. Unfortunately , once pretrial interviews you and accepts you , you have no say so.

Innocent until proven guilty - Not guilty until proven innocent.
Innocent until proven guilty - Not guilty until proven innocent.
Commit a crime, you too could be bailed out by Uncle Sam.
Commit a crime, you too could be bailed out by Uncle Sam.
No more abusive government programs. Distribute the funds to our elderly, or police officers.
No more abusive government programs. Distribute the funds to our elderly, or police officers.

I remember a specific case years ago. The defendant was arrested and charged with a DUI. He was interviewed by pretrial and placed into the program. When he found out about all the restrictions he hired an attorney to try to get the pretrial program exchanged for a bail bond. The hearing was set to ask for a reasonable bond and the judge told him he could either stay on pretrial or post a $75,000 bond. In this county the normal bond amount at the time for a DUI was $500. A little excessive, you think?

Judges have also gone the route as to decide to place defendants on both pretrial and a bail. What’s the problem you may ask. Quite simple it causes confusion. You have two separate set of individual responsible for one defendant. Each giving direction and potentially overlapping each others authority. Pretrial would have you think that this dual bail arrangement was concocted by bonds and bail agents to relieve themselves of liability. This claim could not be more ludicrous as it makes no sense to bail agents to want others interfering making our job riskier and more difficult.

Pretrial provides no incentive for the defendant to come back to court nor do they have a financial obligation to the court if a defendant fails to show up. Bail agents are not afforded that luxury. So, while Pretrial tries to strong arm defendants with threats of violation and incarceration, bond bail agents are trying to diffuse potential scenarios to get them to calm down, comply and get to court. For pretrial to bark, threaten and scare defendants into submission is common. Defendants are routinely confused and do not understand that they were placed on the pretrial program and were also required to posted bail. One missed call will violate pretrial conditions and will cause a new warrant and arrest.

While bail agents work for the bonds and collect paperwork and applications on all defendants, pretrial employees many a times do not have information on people they recommend to be released. When confronted with a problem with a defendant they call the bail agents for the latest contact information on our “mutual” client and inform us they will be violating them for lack of contact.

There are certain offenses that by law do not even qualify for pretrial yet pretrial many of times ignores that. Charges such as domestic battery, aggravated assaults and other violent offenses are supposed to be excluded from pretrial consideration, yet at least in Florida are routinely recommended for pretrial and released by the judge under the pretrial program.

Bail agents are regulated by the states Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services . Who regulates the pretrial program? It all seems to be a mystery. While they are funded by the local and sometimes state government, little or no statistics are available. To comply with what they say is a campaign by the bail industry to put them out of business they come up with statistics every decade or so.

Pretrial programs initially were funded and implemented to relieve overcrowding at the correctional facilities. This comes with a hefty price for us as taxpayers, ultimately we foot the bill for this program. Bail on the other hand costs us nothing as the defendant, family or friends pay the bail and put up collateral in the event of a failure to appear. The bail agents is liable for the full amount of the bond. Collateral is the incentive for the defendants to show up otherwise the defendant and his family stand to lose such asset. Pretrial offers no incentive for the defendant to make his court appearances and in the event of a failure to appear or non compliance simply forward a violation notice to the judge for issuance of a warrant. No financial obligation on their part.

The whole program has strayed from its initial purpose. Pretrial does not release the indigent. They pretrial people willing and able to post bail based on random factors to determine their chance of flight. Pretrial release staff are government employees whose job is to interview defendants to gauge their eligibility for the program by considering the answers offered, and scoring them on a point system.

Today I read an article about the first county in Florida doing away with pretrial back in 2007 and the reports and results were to be expected. The exact article can be found at BailFlorida.com as represented by the Pasco Sheriffs office.

In conclusion they found -

The complete elimination of the taxpayer financed pretrial release program in Pasco County had no significant impact on jail population. If any impact must be drawn, one could conclude that eliminating the program actually reduced the per capita jail population while saving taxpayers nearly $350,000 per year.

Bonds Bail always a better alternative, compared to Pretrial.

PreTrial Release Examples

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Comments 14 comments

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Interesting information here. Didn't know there was such a pre-trial program. It seems to me a 'minor' crime would bring a small bail, so there's just no sense in such a program. Except to make a job for some people, spend taxpayer dollars, and try to bring an end to bail.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

I didn't know anything about this program. This is a very interesting hub. It's not surprising that any government run program does not do a good job. Good hub.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

sheila b.

You seem to be on top of the bail vs pretrial debate.

Your analysis is right on the money. Thanks for the value comment.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Pamela99

Theres plenty of govt funded programs we are all unaware of.

I think the money alloted to pretrial would better serve other other more deserving individuals. Thanks for reading.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I find your hubs so interesting, Bail Up as your job is quite fascinating! You wrote a great hub here and your pictures emphasize your point very well....especially the Monopoly Man!!!! Great job!


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

Interesting but I hope that I don't ever need this...I guess you enjoy this and so few ordinary people know the ins and outs of it.

Great hub


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Ann Nonymous

Just trying to have fun writing and getting creative. Thanks for the encouragement. Always good to get your postive feedback.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

lctodd1947

good to hear you'll never need services like mine. Our Clientele always tell us it was great meeting us but hope never to see us again.


GreyMoon profile image

GreyMoon 6 years ago

So this could spell the end for Bail-bonds? Not sure why we don't have Bail-bonds men in the UK... oh yeah I do, because it is another form of legal and I use the term loosely extortion.

Alternatively,how can an innocent person roting in jail because they cant raise bail be a good system?


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

GreyMoon

It potentially could be the end for bail but I have faith in fellow citizens that understand the debate and back the bail industry. I'm sorry you feel that bail might be a form of extortion. I'm not sure how it works in the UK but I can't fathom the thought that someone commits a crime and the system allows everyone free bail? I'm sure there are innocent people in jail and while unacceptable , I'm sure its the minority.


Michael G 6 years ago

I just found your blog. It would seem that the pretrial service (government sponsored bail billed to the taxpayers) is a problem that is spreading like cancer. You pretty much covered all aspects of the problem. Its typical government trying to grow bigger and bigger. That's what government does.

The first thing they do is convince the public that it's needed and then they show you how it will pay for itself. Then after they get what they want somehow the price goes up and the program that's supposed to pay for itself now needs more taxpayer money to keep it going.

What started with two employees and a $100,000.00 budget now has 28 employees and is operating on a million dollar budget. Sound Familiar?


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Michael G.

Sounds familiar for every state. Pretrial is out of control. Unfortunately for us the media and judges seem to favor them, at least here in Florida.


Stan 6 years ago

Great Article


BailInsights 6 years ago

When compared with private surety bail, Government sponsored pretrial programs perform lower in all key statistics. The most important two being failure to appear rates and rates of recidivism. In otherwords, when people get out through pretrial service agencies they do not show up at court and in turn commit additional crimes. If you want the facts on pretrial, visit http://www.pretrialtruth.com and get the free whitepaper.

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