Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bail Bonds and Pretrial Release: To Fight or Not to Fight

This could be one of the most important questions to be answered by the bail bond industry today.

State and county government officials, judges and policymakers are finding it increasingly necessary to decide what to do about the local taxpayer funded “Free Bail Bond Stores”  (pretrial service agencies operating in hundreds of counties across the country).

The Pretrial Justice Institute (the “front” for the National Association of Pretrial Service Agencies) is lobbying counties to create a new pretrial service agency or expand the one they already have.

Local sheriffs, county commissioners, judges, state legislators, state attorney generals and others must decide whether to make greater use of the more effective commercial bail bonding system or grant more support to the less effective, even dangerous, “Free Bail Bonding Stores.”

So, here’s the question: how does the bail bond industry go about persuading these persons to decide in favor of the private sector bonding system?

The choices are limited.  These are only two: fight them or educate them.  Like most options, each one has its plus-points and its out-points.

For example: fighting these decision makers by trying to force them to do our bidding creates enormous ill-will and a “get your back” mentality.  And remember, these persons are in a position of continuing influence over many facets of bail bonding.

On the other hands, educating them makes for long term friendly working relations.  In other words, instead of carrying a grudge, these persons become friendly toward the promotion of our own survival.

My opinion?  Developing friendly relations through effectively communicating our message seems to carry better promise.  And realize: we do have the best message by far.  The statistics related to public safely point directly at commercial bonding.

I do admit to having been influenced in favor of this approach. early on  My mentor who taught me the bail business said to me many years ago: “When our welfare is in someone else's hands, be a lover, not a fighter.”

What say you?  

1 comment:

  1. It's always better to work with them. Fighting them may get us what we want in the short term, but the permanently-damaged working relationship would make it hard to get any agreements done in the future.

    - Richard Struve