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Jail Overcrowding Right in the Heart of Pretrial Country and there is no Commercial Bail Bond Industry to Blame

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

crowded kentucky jailsFor years, opponents of the commercial bail bond industry have pointed the finger at bail agents and blamed them for jail overcrowding.  The argument they have made consistently is that people are languising away in jail because they can't afford a bail bond.  Based on this premise and a very misguided belief, one would have to assume that jails must be overcrowded in every location that has commercial bail and they must be practically empty in those locations that don't have commercial bail.  Well guess what?  It is not true.  In fact, the complete opposite is true.  In locations where commercial bail is not the primary form of release, jails are consistently being reported as overcrowded.  Even in states like Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky that do not allow commercial bail at all, officials are dealing with jail overcrowding issues.  Just recently a story was reported out of Kentucky by WKYT stating that they jails were so overcrowded that the police were being forced to open what is being called an unsafe jail (one with no emergency fire system) to house the overflow of inmates. 

Maybe it's time that public officials take a deeper look at the issue of overcrowding and determine its real cause.  Maybe it's time that decision makers examine the realities of pretrial release options and determine which methods are the most effective from both a cost and performance perspective.  If they did this they would easily find that the commercial bail industry is the most effective way not only facilitate the release of defendants, but more importantly ensure their appearance in court.  Because when defendants show up for court, victims get a chance at justice, the courts save money and accountability is maintained in the criminal justice system.  Read the original story below.

Original article: Louisville opens unsafe jail, cites overcrowding

Posted by: Eric Granof