There is a concerted and coordinated effort to outlaw private bail in the United States. Here is the false narrative: Cash bail leads to a two-tiered justice system – one for the rich and one for everyone else. Those who sit behind bars while awaiting trial are exposed to significant collateral consequences, like the loss of a job or even custody of their children. What’s more, these impacts are disproportionately experienced by people of color. First of all, people do not get arrested and go to jail simply because of the color of their skin. People get arrested because THEY BROKE THE LAW. When you are arrested, you are accused of a crime. The 5th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution Of The United States guarantee the right to due process…the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The 8th Amendment of the Constitution provides a limit to bail, that it will not be excessive. Most of us have never been arrested. Most of us have never spent even a day in jail. But… those of us who have know this. When you are in jail you have no money, nothing, notta. The jail holds ALL of your belongings in “property” – property that you have no access to. The richest man in town and the poorest man in town are exactly the same in jail. Both are penniless, broke, indigent. Neither of them can bail themselves out. The only assets they have are family and friends. As many of you know, even if you are gainfully employed coming up with $1000 dollars to help a loved one who had one too many at the bar is challenging, especially in the middle of the night. Bail is a Constitutional right. Remember? The 8th Amendment states that Bail will not be excessive, however, lets get real. If you don’t have $20 dollars, $15 dollars is excessive. Bail Bondsmen are licensed with the Department of Criminal Justice Services. They are sureties regulated by the Bureau of Insurance and are willing to take on the fiduciary responsibilities for citizens who can not afford to post bail and they do it for a fraction of the cost. The bondsman also guarantees that the offender will show up to every single court date until the case is adjudicated. Bail is set by the judge, not the bail bondsman. Just a little research on this subject will reveal that no one actually stays in jail because they can’t afford to post bond. (Remember they can’t post it anyway.) Many people remain in jail because the family feels it is better and safer for them to be incarcerated until their court date. If your son or daughter is addicted to heroin, better jail than the graveyard. If Mom says no…it’s NO! Many progressives are beginning to think that Bail Bondsmen are actually the answer to judicial reform. Here’s why. Most Bail Agents bring resources that provide intervention for the offender and their families. These resources fit the crime. An introduction to Celebrate Recovery for people who suffer from Hurts, Habits and Hang-ups. Addiction therapy through the Coleman Institute or Pastoral Counseling for family assault offenders and alcohol monitoring. Imagine offering intervention at the jail house door 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Imagine making resource management training part of the bi-annual continuing education requirement for bondsmen. The cash bail system saves lives. Families get involved with the release of their loved ones. The alternative is to hold people in jail or release offenders to government programs without family awareness and support, which amounts to pre-conviction probation. Remember this old adage: “We are from the Government and we are here to help.” Keep the private option for offender release available. It’s the right thing to do. Don’t Outlaw Freedom.
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