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Verdict Out On Bail Bond Industry: Judges Agree that Commercial Bail is Most Effective Form of Pretrial Release

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

As part of our ongoing efforts to promote understanding of the bail industry throughout the country, our team attended the American Judges Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana earlier this week.

judges prefer bail

We spent time talking with judges from all over the country about the bail bond industry and the role that it plays in their specific states and counties.  During the two day conference, we handed out several hundred “I Love My Judge” buttons as well as fielded a two page survey to gain insights into judges’ perceptions of the bail bond industry and its role in the criminal justice system.  Much like the recent survey conducted amongst Sheriffs at this years’ National Sheriffs’ Association Conference, the results shed a lot of light on the reality of the bail industry and dispel many myths and stereotypes that currently exist about this relatively unknown but extremely important industry.

The following are the results of the survey:

-  90% said bail plays an important role in the criminal justice system (70% said very
   important)

-  37% described agents as helpful, 27% as professional... Intimidating was next with 
   20%

-  96% felt confident that a defendant when released on a bail bond would show up for
   court (23% were extremely confident)

-  30% said that when a defendant is released OR or through a pretrial services agency
   that they had little to no confidence in their return (70% somewhat confident)...
   None replied extremely confident

-  When asked how effective bail agents were at getting defendants to appear 86% said
   effective with 33% of those saying extremely effective

-  When asked to compare bail with OR/pretrial in terms of most effective...60% said
   bail (secured release) vs. 6% saying unsecured release.