CHARLESTON, S.C., May 8, 2018 -- The recent announcement by Google to support the actions of those who break the law over those that are victims of such predators is just another example of the moral and ethical failings of the American society.
Professionals in any industry should be concerned about major companies getting involved in politics. Is Google concerned about the welfare of the law-abiding taxpayers, or those who commit unlawful acts against the norms of society? Did they team with the notorious billionaires to gain more wealth by embracing part of the paid “risk assessment” computer algorithm movement? The only people who will be hurt in this new era of unaccountable bail releases is the victim of crimes and the working taxpayer.
Google has not pulled its ads for pharmaceutical companies, alcohol distributors, tobacco companies, dollar stores, even Walmart - and the list goes on.
The poor who have broken the law were not arrested for being poor. They were arrested for an action they took. The defendant will have a bond hearing usually within a 24-hour time period at which time a judge will make a decision based on facts on whether or not to detain the accused.
The premise of the indigent being jailed for the lack of funds is a fallacy that was addressed by the Manhattan Bail Project in the 1960’s. The federal government and states at that time added protections for these accused in the implementation of codes and even state constitutional changes. The bail industry was actually developed to help the poor by allowing them the opportunity to pay a small portion of the aggregate bail amount.
The bail bondsman does not have any say in who is released without having to post bail or the amount the court determines is adequate to guarantee the safety to the community and risk of flight. Bail bondsman have allowed non-interest payment agreements to those who cannot afford the standard 10% to once again protect the poor from lengthy jail stays. The bail bondsman does, however, consider a risk assessment of each defendant prior to placing themselves responsible to absorb the financial loss. The bail bondsman will require the defendant to have a stable address, family support and ties to the community. They will weigh drug or alcohol addictions, mental illness, criminal history, prior convictions, violent crimes and appearance history.
Bail bondsmen are backed by surety companies and they stand to lose everything. Pre-trial advocates are thrilled if they have an 85-90% success rate of defendants appearing in court. To turn any profit, the bail bondsman must have no less than a 96% percent success rate or they will become insolvent.
The bail industry serves as a valuable tool in the criminal justice system protecting the court, public and the defendant alike. Studies have shown without the aid of the bail bondsman, the number of defendants who fail to appear at scheduled court dates can increase by 40% or more.
America was found on free enterprise, and yes - even Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, hedge fund brokers, attorneys, rappers and athletes go to work for compensation and profit. None of which worry about if the poor can afford their service or price of admission! We are a great nation because we can strive to be or do the best that is within us. We have all been provided choices and as a society must treat the addiction and inherited behavior but not at the taxpayers’ expense. The bail bondsman should not be ridiculed but praised for the service they provide. The attempt to disgrace and alienate an industry without all of the facts is reckless.
Executive Director UBA