The bail bond industry comprises establishments that offer insurance companies-backed surety bonds, which cover the risks attached to allowing pretrial release to criminal defendants awaiting their sentence. The bond agents guarantee bond payment in case the defendant doesn’t show up for their pre-scheduled court appearance. The industry is expected to grow slowly at a 0.9 percent annualized rate to $2.3bn between the 2019-2024 period, despite the industry experiencing a 1.6 percent revenue decline in 2019.
Bail Bond Industry Statistics
During the 2013-2018 period, the industry hit the $2 billion revenue mark. During this time-frame, both the number of people working in the sector and businesses increased by 1.2 percent. As the scope for differentiation is quite low, there is no industry leader or dominant business. The products offered usually comprise personal recognizance, unsecured bonds, surety bond, deposit bond, and collateral bond. Other types of pretrial releases exist too, but they are at the bottom of the table.
Crime Rates in the U.S.
The bail bonds business would prosper if America’s crime rate increases. Crime rate is basically the number of reported violent and property crimes per every 100,000 citizens. The last 20 years’ statistics state that violent crime numbers have decreased by almost 50 percent since 1990. The declining figures, however, do not mean American citizens are any less scared of potential crimes now than before. In fact, almost 70 percent of them felt the crime rate has gone up in 2017 compared to 2016 and other previous years.
Property or non-violent rate is the biggest criminal issue plaguing the U.S. However, the number of thefts relating to motor vehicles has considerably decreased since the early 2000s. Crime prevention professionals credit this to advanced and modern security systems – such as alarm systems, GPS devices, and ignition immobilizers – set up in many modern vehicles.
As far as clearance rates and arrests are concerned, murder and non-negligent manslaughter had the maximum clearance rate of all crimes during 2017, with more than 60 percent of crimes leading to arrests. These rates are not the same across rural and urban areas, states and regions. In 2017, America saw close to 10.55 million people getting arrested during 2017. This number might look massive, but it’s quite low when compared to the past two decades.
Of the many surprising numbers linked to the U.S. money bail setup, the following could be extremely shocking: 60 percent or more people locked inside the overcrowded U.S. prisons are there because they cannot afford their bail amount. This means close to 450,000 such suspects are confined to American jails on a daily basis. The total time they stay in prison can change with trial waiting periods, which usually can be months or years.