Last Wednesday members of the Joint Judiciary Committee heard arguments on whether or not Oregon should install commercial bail bonding in that state. Click on the following link to hear the complete audio file of this important bail bond industry testimony.
They had an opportunity to get the straight scoop when I, on behalf of The American Bail Coalition, rebutted the sour old tripe that had been disseminated by opponents to commercial bail. You know their drill: “The counties will lose money if commercial bail is allowed to write in Oregon.”
This was good, though, as it provided an opportunity to set the record straight on at least four ways the state and its political subdivisions would benefit economically under private sector bail bonding:
1. The opening of new businesses to purvey the product which, combined with their numerous employees, would add to the local and state tax bases,
2. Savings on county jail costs via release of inmates much faster than the average 15 days the pretrial service offices take before arranging a release,
3. Revenue realized by the counties from the payment of bail bond forfeitures, and
4. The premium taxes that would be paid on every bail bond posted.
In addition, the information from The United States Department of Justice was shared showing how over an eight year span judges across the nation have moved away from own recognizance releases by 17 %, away from deposit bail by almost 20% and toward commercial bail by 20%. The reasons why were also provided:
1. The obvious economic advantages,
2. The affordability of the product, and
3. The proven public safety enhancements.
If policy makers desire these benefits for their state, as a provider, commercial bail has no peer.
I'd like to quote the wise words of Edmund Burke, "A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation."
If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting.
Jerry Watson, Chief Legal Officer of AIA, blogging about the legislative side of the bail bond industry. AIA (Allegheny Casualty, International Fidelity and Associated Bond) is the largest and oldest bail bond insurance company in the nation.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
- Behind the Paper with Jerry Watson
- Jerry Watson serves as Chief Legal Officer to AIA, Senior Vice-President and Legal Counsel, Bail, at IFIC. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Private Enterprise Board of Directors of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – America’s largest bi-partisan state legislator member organization on whose board he has represented the commercial bail industry for the past 15 years. He has also served as General Counsel of the American Bail Coalition since its founding and is a member of the Bail Advisory Council of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA). His undergraduate and law degrees are from Baylor University and he is a graduate of the National College of Criminal Defense Attorneys and Public Defenders. He has testified as an expert on bail in various state and federal cases, among them being the country’s largest bail related damage suits. In Jerry’s 42 years in the bail industry, always as an attorney, he has represented local retail agents, general agencies, insurance companies and insurance companies’ trade associations before state and federal courts and regulatory agencies.
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