In order to provide some clarification on the matter, I recently had a conference call with this individual to hear his concerns and to better communicate ours. After this conversation, I think both parties had a better understanding of each other and the intent of the “Assessment tool” that was referred to earlier. According to our contact, this Assessment tool is something that will only be utilized at the Federal Level and will not be used by State or Local Pretrial Service Agencies. In fact, our contact was very clear that his group was only concerned at the Federal level and did not have any connection or concern regarding what happens at the State or Local level in regard to Pretrial Programs.
It is very important for me to let everyone out there know that we do not have the issues with the Federal Pretrial Service Agency that we have with local agencies at the State or County level. In fact, we think Federal Pretrial Release does a good job at keeping failure to appear rates low and recidivism down. If only the States were able to run a similarly effective and efficient machine, but the evidence is that they do not.
The issue we have is that whatever the federal agency does, especially in matters around the criminal justice system, the states pretty much always try to follow. While there is no intent now to ever implement this assessment tool at the state level, we know that eventually the states will try and replicate the tool with fewer resources and expertise and ultimately with fewer results.
30 years ago the same thing happened when Pretrial Service Agencies were created at the federal level. The fear the bail bond industry had was that this program would be copied at the state level without the same expertise and success. Additionally, it was felt (remember this is 30 years ago) that these programs would morph into “get out of jail free” programs for a much wider criteria of defendant than the program was originally designed for at the Federal level. And to be honest, that is exactly what has happened and why today the entire bail bond industry is having to battle these ineffective state and local bastardized pretrial programs that are doing nothing but increasing the crime rates in our neighborhoods and costing local citizens valuable tax dollars.
"Crime doesn't pay. Unless you get out of jail through a Pretrial Service Agency."