Transparency of pretrial services administered and paid for by federal grant programs is a step in the right direction
CHARLESTON, S.C., MAY 10, 2018 --United Bail of America (UBA) applauds the passing of H.R. 2152, commonly referred to as the “Citizens’ Right to Know Act,” by the House of Representatives on May 9, 2018 as step in the right direction to reasonable bail reform.
The bill, passed by a 221-197 majority, will require states using funds provided by the Department of Justice for pretrial services to submit certain information annually about participating defendants to the Attorney General.
The new legislation requires states to report:
(1) The names and criminal histories of defendants taking part in the program
(2) Previous times defendants in the program failed to make an appearance
(3) The amount of funding allocated and used by the program in a given fiscal year
UBA agents, who also preform pretrial services, applaud the act as a commonsense oversight. Prior to this legislation, administrators had no ability to determine the effectiveness of federal pretrial release programs and taxpayers had no ability to hold the program accountable for questionable results. Unfortunately, this lack of transparency and accountability led many repeat offenders to get out of jail on taxpayer dollars. Additionally, in some areas where pretrial services have been completely taken over by federal or state-funded programs, failure to appear rates have risen nearly 40 percent.
“The passing of H.R. 2152 is a step in the right direction to create safer, more transparent and more efficient government-funded bail programs,” said Don Mescia, executive director of UBA. “Even so, private surety agents are still able to offer a series of pretrial services to defendants at a lower cost than government-funded programs can provide—counsel on the conditions of bond, help finding employment, relocation, additional counseling, drug testing, office and home visits and review of defendant conduct while on bail. Personal interviews with potential clients that don’t depend on clouded and often inaccurate algorithms ensure our agents have a personal financial interest in the successful appearance of their client unlike bodiless government agencies, ultimately keeping our communities safer.”
H.R. 2152 will have to be considered by the Senate before becoming an actionable law.
About United Bail of America
The purpose of United Bail of America, LLC. is to allow Palmetto agents to be more informed in our changing and growing industry and to provide every agent with a voice and forum to be heard. We work to build national favorable regulations and legislation and to monitor issues impacting our profession.
About Palmetto Surety Corporation
Palmetto Surety Corporation is a South Carolina based company, founded in 2003, specializing in Surety Bonding. Palmetto Surety is currently producing bonds in states throughout the southeast. Our vision is to create a straightforward process system that streamlines the production of surety bonds to our clients and agencies. Palmetto Surety strives to advance the surety bond industry through exemplary customer service, professionalism, and integrity.
To learn more about United Bail of America visit: https://unitedbailofamerica.org
To learn more about Palmetto Surety Corporation visit: http://www.palmettosurety.net