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Bail Bond Agent Holly Hoekstra Talks About Accountability

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The California Criminal Justice System is currently in a state of flux as realignment continues to unfold throughout the state and crime stats spike.  Northern California Bail Bond Agent, Holly Hoekstra was recently interviewed by ABC News up in Redding California, to talk about the essential role that bail plays in the criminal justice system and  the need for communities all over California to include the bail bond industry in both the discussions and the solutions around California's jail realignment

Introduction written by: Eric Granof

See the article below:

Realignment Hurting Bail Bond Companies

A local bail bond company said it's not just the jails that are having to adjust to realignment. Bail bond companies are having a hard time too.

Under California's new realignment plan county jails now hold more of a burden housing inmates than state prisons. It's forced counties to let people who used to sit behind bars to walk free, without having to post bail.

Holly Hoekstra, owner of Holly's Bailbonds in Redding has owned the company for 12 years. She said business is down about 50% from 2006. The reduction has forced her to reduce her staff from five to three agents.

Hoekstra said it's not just her company being hit. She said bail bond companies across the state are scrambling to figure out what to do. She said bail bonds are crucial to the criminal justice system and right now are being overlooked.

"What happened is they don't realize how important what kind of role we've played. I've posted 600 to 700 bonds a year. Those are solutions that I'm taking care of, that I'm personally held financially responsible annually and I make sure my people go to court and if they don't I either pay or I find them and bring them back," said Hoekstra.

Hoekstra said now it's all about working with the county to try to find some alternatives to the overcrowding. She said she's been attending monthly Community Corrections Partnership meetings with the District Attorney's office and law enforcement branches.

One alternative Hoekstra sees is lowering bail schedules. She said right now bails are being posted too high and by lowering the bail schedule will be able to post bail quicker and be held accountable faster.

Hoekstra said when she got into the bail bond business 20 years ago she never imagined people would be able to skip out on posting bail. She said the main issue is making sure criminals are held accountable.

Original Article: Realignment Hruting Bail Bond Companies