Many have called for a bail reform in Texas to change the way that defendants are detained while they await trial for a crime they’ve been accused of, but not yet found guilty. Some claim that Texas jails are brimming with too many low-risk, low-level defendants. For example, the Harris County Jail houses approximately 9,000 inmates, and 7,000 of those are pre-trial detainees, but most of the inmates are not as low level as they want the public to believe.
Keeping the defendants in jail can have brutal effects on their economic status and social acceptance for those that have been charged, whether they’re guilty or not. That’s where the notion of bail reform comes into play. Bail reform organizations have called for the practice of paying to be released while awaiting trial to be reviewed with a different system.
Lynda Frost from the University of Texas at Austin has suggested a data-driven tool to help determine who would be eligible for bail. However, it uses biased risk factors to determine whether a defendant should be released into the community or released with the help of supervision services, which all law-abiding citizens will pay for. While the assessment would decrease current pretrial detention costs, it will not reduce future recidivism. It will simply increase the cost to taxpayers by having more police officers needed to make the re-arrest on higher failure to appear in court charges.
To Save Low-Income and Innocent Defendants
Bail reform services will serve the low-income and innocent defendants that have been detained in Texas jails, and allow low-risk individuals to be free while they await their trials. A disproportionate number of inmates are in jails, even though they’re legally innocent, but the bail bond industry helps many of them get pre-trial release with the current system. While it may seem like a more “fair” solution to release individuals on a risk-based assessment, it can actually be counteractive in many cases. When bail bondsmen help detainees get released, they automatically begin acting as a monitoring system that’ll make sure they return for their court date. With the proposed system, it would be difficult to ensure a defendant’s return to court.
In addition, a bail reform like the one Frost proposed would cost taxpayers. Right now, bail bondsmen absorb the cost of bail for defendants for a small percentage, but if a pre-trial release agency were to provide the same services, there would be a much higher cost per defendant release—a cost that would be covered by the money of taxpayers.
How PCS Bail Bonds Can Help
A bail reform in Texas isn’t the most effective option when all things are considered, so the absolute best option to get out of jail while you’re waiting for your court date is to hire a bail bondsman from PCS Bail Bonds. We offer affordable and fast services, and accept a variety of different payments, as well as collateral. We know that being arrested can be an unsettling process and that you’ll want to get out as soon as possible, which is why we work to make our services as fast and cost effective for everyone—in fact, our fees are 10% lower than the competition. For more information on our fast and affordable bail bond options, contact us today.
Photo Credit: istock.com/LucidSurf
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