Having attended the Heritage Foundation’s “Bail Policy Summit” representing the National Association of Fugitive Recovery Agents, I came away with a completely different understanding. Some of the things we believe, or that I have believed about this battle were incorrect. The following is what I learned:
The Pre-Trial proponents could care less about the bail industry, what we do or say publicly, because they have pushed right past us. Our input is rarely requested or welcomed at such gatherings, because our opinions do not matter to them, not one bit. Nothing that we say will advance their narrative. The only value that we have is that which we perceive that we have.
The magical and cryptic algorithms are little more than an interview augmented by some empirical data, specific to the defendant. There are also quite a few such methods claiming to predict behaviors, all competing to be purchased by a jurisdiction. But they all have a few things in common: There is no mention or concern about victims, or to the accountability of the defendant.
Without exception, they are all unashamedly pushing for 100% pre-trial release of defendants. They call our industry “Money Bail” as a pejorative, insinuating that because we provide a service for just compensation, we are somehow part of the problem. The inconvenient truth is that all stakeholders in the criminal justice system are paid, from Judges to Court Clerks, even Pre-Trial advocates.
There is allot of unintended consequences as a result of this criminal justice reform. These consequences are experienced by the bond industry as well as the victims, to include those considered marginalized by society. There is an avenue that allows all of our groups to work together and the undertone was that is a viable consensus, among all but the pretrial advocates.
In the follow up articles regarding this meeting, we will delve into the claimed statistics, alleged successes and the motivation to eliminate our industry.