Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Three Strike Rule for the Pretrial Justice Institute

The Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI), a federal taxpayer funded organization, in describing its mission, says, "PJI serves as the Service Director for the National Association of Pretrial Service Agencies (NAPSA). PJI supports the NAPSA Board of Directors initiatives."

NAPSA is a national organization comprised mostly of executives from various county pretrial release agencies across the country. These are local taxpayer funded operations that essentially promote "free bail bonds" to persons incarcerated upon suspicion of having committed a crime. Their avowed purpose is to replace the country's two hundred plus years old private sector bail bonding business with county government run stores.

Remember, PJI says that its purpose is to support the NAPSA Board's initiatives. Here are two of the Board's "Standards" adopted in October of 2004.

  • Standard 1.4(a): Each jurisdiction should adopt procedures designed to promote the release of defendants on personal recognizance (that is, merely upon their promise that they will come back for their trial). Parenthesis mine. 
  • Standard 1.4(d): Compensated sureties (the private sector bail bonding business) should be abolished. Parenthesis mine.
The simple and undeniable truth is, therefore, that PJI lives off of our federal tax dollars so that it can go about the country and lobby for the eradication of the private sector business of commercial bail bonding, a business that has been a proven asset to our country's criminal justice system from it's very founding. And the problem is that, try as they may, PJI cannot justify the existence of the program they say should replace commercial bail.

Well, here's a thought: why not apply the three strike rule to PJI? Everybody knows that under this rule, whether it applies to baseball or the commission of crimes, when you make three serious misses you are taken out of the game. So if PJI, after three attempts to do so, cannot explain why its recommendations are sound, why should it continue to get our tax money? Why should it not, like any other three time offender, be removed from the game? I am suggesting that it should, and I propose to make my case in a four part series of short articles to be posted on this blog.

This introduction will be the first article followed by three more, each dealing in turn with a separate swing and miss by PJI in its failed attempts to support its cause which is to reduce private business and grow the government.

Just as a preview: of what do PJI's three strikes consist? The best short answer I can give is to acquaint the reader with advice given by Mr. John Wilson, my old Remedies course professor in law school 45 years ago. Mr. Wilson told us: "You need to remember the three ways to beat your opponent. One, if you have the law, beat em on the law. And if you don't have the law, but you have the facts, then beat em on the facts. And if you don't have either the law or the facts, confuse em."

This is precisely the approach PJI has used as it has taken its show on the road from county to county trying to convince local government leaders to reduce commercial bail and expand the use of county taxpayer funded pretrial service agencies. It tried the law by suggesting that to make a person obtain the services of a professional bail bond writer violates the presumption of innocence. Wrong there, so they tried to argue facts by saying pretrial service agencies outperform commercial bail. Failed there too, so then they, in desperation, tried to confuse their audience with their "evidence based flight risk analysis" claptrap. That didn’t work either.

So, in the next three articles I will take each of these failed PJI attempts up one by one in the above order. Stay tuned. And, of course, feel free to offer your responses. Communication is the solvent and dialogue is good for the soul.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jerry, If you dont stand together on the PTS problems and outright lies they tell, the whole private sector bail bonding system will be destroyed.along with so many other small buisnesses in this Country under attack! I also question how far into the regulatory agencies PTS has reached. Of course i am from Colorado and have been tainted in my opinion!