Why Bail?

While surety or commercial bail it is not the only form of release a court may choose, it has proven to be the most effective way for a defendant to secure his or her release from a detention facility while awaiting trial. Surety Bail out performs all other release options by producing the lowest percentage of failure to appear rates, protects victims through the supervision of released defendants, supports efforts of a defendant to preserve their innocence and protects taxpayers by not using any government-funding for pretrial services.

Below, we've broken down a few more reasons why surety bail is greatest protector of our criminal justice system:

UBA & Local Agent Sheri Davis: NH should learn from bail reform failures in other states

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United Bail of America again partnered with local surety agent Sheri Davis, President Ballin'-U Bail Bonds Inc., to correct the misinformation and bias in the recent Union Leader editorial, Reasonable bail: Reform and Monitor:

We would agree with a recent Union Leader editorial on bail requirements that stated the county prosecutors’ concerns do “warrant close inspection.”

These professionals recognize what happened in states, like New Mexico and Iowa, that instituted similar cash-bail reforms, only to regret it. In fact, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez warned Utah voters about the “devastating results,” of a similar policy, calling the failed experiment an aggravation to “catch and release, revolving door justice system(s).”

Supporters of the bill claim massive savings from reducing pretrial incarceration; however, their position fails to account for what United Bail of America (UBA) estimates as more than $120 million in pretrial service costs that would become the responsibility of New Hampshire taxpayers.

Surety agents, like those who are members of UBA, offer a series of pretrial services to defendants at a lower cost than government-funded programs, including counsel on the conditions of bond, help finding employment, relocation, drug testing, and review of defendant conduct while on bail. Personal interviews with potential clients ensure our agents have a financial interest in the successful behavior and appearance of their clients in court.

In addition, failure to appear rates have skyrocketed 40 percent in some jurisdictions that have passed similar bail reform acts, leaving unaccounted for defendants in communities and exhausting police resources.

In the past few weeks alone, courts acting under the New Jersey Bail Reform Act of 2017 have released a man accused of dealing altered drugs to middle schoolers, a man with multiple outstanding warrants who made “terroristic threats,” and a high school teacher with 11 outstanding warrants who was found in his car with a female student, drugs, sex toys, and a weapon.

Do we really want these defendants roaming the streets of our communities without the consequences that come from skipping bail or failing in the conditions of their release?

The heart of the criminal justice system is in its name — justice. Justice is best served when the accused obey the conditions of bail, show up for trial and are found innocent or guilty by a judge or jury.

This should be enough evidence to understand why the county prosecutors are hesitant to support SB 556 and make New Hampshire residents critical of the bill as well.

The bail system protects the state by keeping the burden of funding pretrial services off the backs of taxpayers; protects citizens by making sure the accused comply with conditions of bail; and protects the accused by providing counsel and support during what can be a confusing and trying time.
 

Executive Director Don Mescia & Local Agent Sheri Davis Correct Misinformation and Bias in Recent Concord Monitor Opinion Piece

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UBA teamed up with local surety agent Sheri Davis, President Bailin'-U Bail Bonds, to hold the Concord Monitor accountable for the bias and misinformation published in a recent opinion piece by Concord attorney Michael Lewis. Their published response is below:

In response to Concord attorney Michael Lewis’s recent opinion column “Unpacking the county attorneys’ belated position on bail reform” ( May 24): The competency of his argument is “charitably” not relevant.

Lewis uses recent staffing changes within the Attorney General’s Office to throw doubt on the professional opinion of 10 county attorneys, while never refuting a singular point of their argument against the new bill eliminating bail, which can include both cash and surety bonds. Instead, he relies on bullying rhetoric to cast aspersions upon their character, and completely ignoring concerns expressed by county attorneys that the bill places undue pressure on victims.

In a rush to paint their arguments as “dehumanizing,” the piece ignores states such as New Mexico that have instituted similar reforms, only to regret it. Last month, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez warned Utah voters about the “devastating results” of a similar policy, calling the failed experiment an aggravation to “catch and release, revolving door justice system(s).” 

Supporters of the bill claim massive savings from reducing pretrial incarceration; however, their position fails to account for what United Bail of America estimates as over $120 million in pretrial service costs that would become the responsibility of taxpayers.

Surety agents, like those who are members of UBA, offer a series of pretrial services to defendants at a lower cost than government-funded programs, including counsel on the conditions of bond, help finding employment, relocation, drug testing and review of defendant conduct while on bail. Personal interviews with potential clients ensure our agents have a financial interest in the successful behavior and appearance of their clients in court.

In addition, failure-to-appear rates have skyrocketed 40 percent in some jurisdictions that have passed similar bail reform acts, leaving unaccounted-for defendants in communities and exhausting police resources.

In the past few weeks alone, courts acting under the New Jersey Bail Reform Act of 2017 have released a man accused of dealing altered drugs to middle schoolers; a man with multiple outstanding warrants who made “terroristic threats”; and a high school teacher with 11 outstanding warrants who was found in his car with a female student, drugs, sex toys and a weapon.

Do we really want these defendants roaming the streets of our communities without the consequences that come from skipping bail or failing in the conditions of their release? 

The heart of the criminal justice system is in its name – justice. Justice is best served when the accused obey the conditions of bail, show up for trial and are found innocent or guilty by a judge or jury.

We stand with the 10 county attorneys who seek true justice.

The bail system protects the state by keeping the burden of funding pretrial services off the backs of taxpayers; protects citizens by making sure the accused comply with conditions of bail; and protects the accused by providing counsel and support during what can be a confusing and trying time.