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More Crowded Jails in Non-Commercial Bail States

Friday, June 13, 2014

cook countyYes, we have all heard it before.  The endless mantra of public sector pretrial proponents, "Jails are crowded because people can't afford to pay a bail bondsman."  As much as those that make this claim would like it to be truthful, the reality is that it isn't.  Over the past year there have been multiple articles on jail overcrowding coming from states that don't have commercial bail.  This includes Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois and Kentucky....yes we said Kentucky, the shining star of the pretrial movement.  Not only do they tout this program as the leading state run pretrial program in the country, they also have overcrowded jails and no commercial bail to point the finger at. 

But the focus of today's bail bond news story is not out of Kentucky, but Cook County, Illinois.  The topic of the story...jail overcrowding in the nation's largest jail system.  And yes, once again, no commercial bail to point the finger at.  What does this show us?  Well, a couple things.  First, commercial bail is NOT the cause of jail overcrowding.  Bail bond agents facilitate the process for families and loved ones and in the end make bail more affordable for those that need it.  Second, it shows that the problems with the criminal justice system don’t lie within the pretrial release process but rather through the case and court management processes. It’s time to get all stakeholders to the table, including the private sector, to work together to solve these problems.  At the end of the day it is not about “Bail” reform, it is about criminal justice reform.

Check out the story below.

Original article: Stuck in Cook County Jail: Prison population strains system, tax payer wallets

Written by: Eric Granof

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