Most people who are charged with a crime can afford to pay for a bondsman. At Dennis Blackwell we have been issuing bail bonds for over two decades and we’ve seen people from all walks of life apply for and retain a bond.
However, recent programs enacted by some local and state governments have begun to allow defendants to get out of jail without paying any money to the court. Personal Recognizance and other pretrial release programs allow persons charged with a crime to be released from jail at no cost to themselves. Unfortunately, the pretrial release programs are not entirely free. Someone does have to pay the court and that someone is you and I.
Defendants must first go through a Pre Trial release program to determine their eligibility to be released from jail before trial. If they are deemed eligible for Judicial Welfare, the entire process through the court system will be funded by American tax dollars. This includes the bond money that is paid to the court to guarantee a defendant’s appearance AND the attorney fees required to retain the services of a public defender.
Keep in mind that judicial welfare benefits are not reserved for those that may have trouble paying court fees, the reward system is not based on income, employment history, or number of dependents. Instead, judicial welfare is granted based on the likelihood that a defendant will follow the rules of the court. How much research is done into the defendant’s personal reliability? One pretrial interview.
If you are a tax payer and you disagree with your tax dollars being used for pretrial release programs we encourage you to make your voice heard! Call or write your local politician and ask him or her to bring the issue to the attention of policy makers.