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The Movement to Release Those Who Cannot Afford Jail

Bail has become a focal point in the fight to transform the criminal justice system as well as the pretrial system, and there are several good reasons why.

More Americans Experience Jails Than PrisonsPretrial System

The difference is that jails typically hold people in the days leading to their trials, or for sentences less than one year. Prisons are where people go for longer terms of sentence. The number people of people admitted to jails, nationwide is nearly 20 times the annual admission rate to state and federal prisons, according to a report from the Vera Institute of Justice.

A Majority of People Jailed Have Not Yet Been Found Guilty

Of the crimes of which they are accused. Three people out of every five in a jail are there because they cannot afford to pay their bail. Cherise Fanno Burdeen, the CEO of the Pretrial Justice Initiative, has said, “If you want to tackle mass incarceration, you have to go to where mass incarceration is happening. This is where the most disruptive action of the state happens in people’s lives.”

Revolution In The Pretrial SystemPretrial System

The highly publicized deaths of Kalief Browder in New York and Sandra Bland in Texas have illustrated the need for some kind of reform or revolution in the pretrial system, at least. While it is widely understood that disruptions caused by pretrial detention cost many low-income people their jobs, homes, and relationships, until these events in recent years, many people never thought it could someone their life.

Tragic stories like these two have helped to steer the conversation at a national level, and have boosted the case for ending or otherwise reforming the bail system.

Another activist at the front lines of this fight is Thomas Harvey. He directs the non-profit law firm ArchCity Defenders, which has challenged the interrelated systems of bail and traffic fines and fees that are putting people behind bars in his area. He has gone so far as to call this system the “criminalization of poverty and race” in St. Louis County, Missouri.

Harvey and his teams have sued 30 of the county’s 90 towns, including Ferguson; by using class action suits to challenge the systems’ use of bail, Harvey has made a great start in reforming what he calls the “debtors’ prisons.”

“At least in the St. Louis region, it’s poor folks and communities of color that are being held on cash bail. Courts are quicker to impose these onerous consequences on them,” he says.

Nationwide, Black Americans are two-and-a-half times more likely to be arrested, and almost four times more likely to be jailed than White Americans.

Harvey and ArchCity Defenders have reached settlements with some of the city’s in St. Louis County. For example, Jennings agreed in 2016 to pay $4.7 million in compensation to people detained for court debts, and also agreed to implement a set of reforms, with the end goal of eliminating cash bail. The reform aims to focus on releasing those accused of nonviolent offenses on their own recognizance, and under the new system, the court “employs a five-step process before issuing a warrant for some’s arrest for failure to appear in court.”

Will this system work in the long run? Only time will tell, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Beth Chapman has Throat Cancer

I say “Bounty Hunter,” you say “DOG!” Most everyone knows about the famous Hawaiian bail bondsmanBeth Chapman Has Throat Cancer and his eccentric family of bounty hunters. Duane Chapman and his wife of 11 years, Beth Chapman, are now facing one of the worst trials of their entire life together.

Beth has stage 2 throat cancer. In a letter addressed to her friends, she shared how she was diagnosed and her thoughts on her condition.

Beth Speaks OnHer Throat Cancer

“I’ve been dealt my share of unexpected blows over the course of my almost fifty years but nothing as serious as the one I heard from my doctors two weeks ago when they uttered those dreaded three words, ‘You have cancer,'” she wrote.

“After months of a nagging cough, a routine checkup resulted in a diagnosis of stage II throat cancer. I have what is referred to as a T2 Tumor in my throat that is blocking my breathing. My doctors are suggesting immediate treatment and surgery before the disease progresses,” she continued.

Despite this illness, she is remaining positive. Many people say that attitude is everything when it comes to beating a cancer diagnosis and surviving, and Beth is moving forward with the same dogged determination that has earned her a place at her husband’s side.

The family’s spokesperson, Mona Wood-Sword, told Hawaii News Now that Beth was scheduled for emergency surgery within the next few days. “…it’s a very scary time for them and their family….they are being strong, praying, and following doctor’s orders.”

Beth Chapman, More Than Just A TV Celebrity

Chapman is the president of the National Bail Bonds Associations. She and her husband are lobbyists forBeth Chapman Has Throat Cancer the bail bond industry.

“Our industry is under attack,” Beth Chapman has said in the past. “There are bail reform movements springing up across the country that would end the cash bail systems. This would be a disaster.”

One of these reform systems, in New Jersey, seems to have experienced great success with their elimination of cash bail. They report fewer failure rearrests and failures to appear, but there is still criticism of how many alleged criminals are able to get out of jail on unsecured bonds after being charged with severe crimes. There has been an increase in failure to appear and people skipping out on their unsecured bonds on their more serious charges, but the overall ratings seem to indicate success with the bail system reforms.

There are many other arguments that could be made on this topic, but the end result would still be the same there is no true consensus on what exact reforms work, because every area that has tried has done it with variation. In other words, there is no control group by which we can gauge the relative merits or disadvantages of any one system. While many would agree that something should be done to fix the system, until we can agree on the best way to accomplish this across the board, the point seems to be relatively moot.

In any case, our thoughts and prayers are with Beth Chapman and the entire family, during this time of need. We hope she will make a full recovery, and continue to be an advocate for the bail industry and those who need her help and her husband’s.

Bedford, TX Bail Bonds Can Provide Immediate Release after an Arrest

Getting arrested for a crime in Bedford, TX and anywhere else is arguably the most nerve-wracking situation you can be in. Whether you are charged with a minor or major offense, there’s the dread of spending some time in jail that will keep haunting you until you can clear your name of the crime. Additionally, jail time, even for a short period, can spell disaster in your life, employment, and relationships.
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Trust Licensed Keller Bail Bonds Agents to Help Get You Out of Jail

You can get arrested in Keller and any other city in Texas for a number of reasons, even for traffic violations. When this happens, getting yourself, or a friend or relative, out of jail after the arrest is often an urgent need. If funds for bail payment are not readily available, you can consider getting Keller bail bonds from reputable bonds agents like those at Just Jail Bonds.
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Seek Fort Worth, TX Bail Bonds to Get Loved Ones Out of Jail Fast

Having a loved one in jail is tough. Processing cases can take a long time, and those arrested might not be scheduled for a hearing or a trial right away. This prolongs their stay behind bars, while waiting for their court date. If you wish to get your loved one out of jail as soon as possible, you can post bail for him or her. An article in Find Law discusses the steps that need to be taken in posting bail.
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What You Should Know about Bail Bonds in Hurst, TX: On Arrest and Bail

Hurst, Texas, like any city with people numbering in the tens of thousands, has seen its share of widespread criminal activity and thus arrests, mostly for thievery. However, every individual is presumed innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law, so Texas law offers certain forms of relief to people arrested, one being bail. By paying bail bonds in Hurst, TX, those behind bars can be set free pending their trial.
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Placed Under Arrest? Bail Bonds in Tarrant County, TX Can Save the Day

Staying in jail while awaiting trial can be problematic for some people. Some individuals do not take well to a prison environment, and it can take its toll. The law recognizes that, for those who have committed minor violations of the law, being held in prison before a trial date may not be necessary. This is where the bail process comes in. An article from FindLaw.com has this to say:
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Mansfield Bail Bonds Companies Assure that Your Jail Stay is Short

In the U.S., you’re innocent until proven guilty, but this doesn’t mean you’re automatically free to go while you’re under suspicion. Depending on the severity of the crime, you may have to be detained in jail until your trial starts. However, that may take time, even months, so the talk of posting bail enters the picture. An article from Attorneys.com discusses the bail system:
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A Brief History of Bail before the Age of Bedford Bail Bonds Companies

Crime is essentially as old as human civilization itself. Since people began to enact laws in an effort to guide themselves and their society, it can be safe to say that defiant ones already existed as early as that time; not to mention, the process of enforcing justice and securing freedom. However, much about the early history of the bail process is still shrouded in mystery. As City Limits’ Curtis Stephen notes:
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