The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) issued a press release on Tuesday on the dwindling local jail population in America. Did you see it? If not you can read it by clicking on the following link... Jail Population.
You definitely should read the release, especially if you have been subject to the recent specious (means deceptive) plethora of drivel spewing forth from the "free bail bond stores" (county pretrial release agencies) defenders.
These big government advocates, enemies of the private sector, rail on and on about how poor people have to languish in jail pending trial because they do not have the money for a bail bond. This unfair treatment of these poor unfortunates operates to heavily overpopulate the country's county jails.
'Horse pucky!' says ALEC's press release. It points to authorities standing for the proposition that, while from 2007 to 2009 the nation's local jail inmate count has DECREASED, the percentage of persons released on commercial bail has... you guessed it: INCREASED.
How can this possibly be, if more and more defendants remain in the county jail because they cannot afford to buy a bail bond? It cannot be. That flat will not compute. Pure and simple. It just cannot be.
And do you know what? People today can afford to purchase a bail bond. In fact, they can arrange for one today easier than at any time in the nation's history (yes, commercial bail bonds have always been around in America). And do you know why bail bonds are more affordable today than ever before? It is simple: the sellers of the bonds have adjusted their pricing model to meet the needs of the marketplace. That's all. Times are hard, and the bail bond sellers have responded positively to the difficulties of today's purchasing environment.
Jails are overflowing because pretrial inmates cannot afford a bail bond?
Specious, I say. Horse pucky, I say.
What say you?
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.
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- 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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