Bail Reform Part 5: Accountability is Key

Time and time again, pretrial release programs have failed to work. The bail bond industry creates accountability. When a bail bond agent helps a defendant post bail, they become their responsibility. They are required to check in with the bondsman and appear for court cases, giving them a reason to be a responsible citizen. Take that away and you take away incentive to do the right thing.

Police in Hopatcong, NJ are already asking the state to “fix the bail reform system.” And while inmate advocates continue to stress that the bail system is unfair to poor defendants, police departments in NJ say that Bail Reform is not, and was not the answer.

“Low income doesn’t equate to ‘he’s a good guy,” Newark Police Detective and Union President James Stewart Jr. told New Jersey News 12. “Tomorrow you might be the victim of a crime because we let a guy go today.”  New Jersey News 12 |March 10, 2017.

So yes, while the system needs an overhaul, abolishing it altogether is going to spike costs for cities, counties, the state, and it’s going to be largely detrimental to public safety. Getting rid of commercial bail altogether?  It would blow Pandora’s box wide open.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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