Saturday, July 15, 2017

Join PBUS?

So some insurance dude is trying to get people to join PBUS. Makes sense. He wouldn't make any money at all if bail agents didn't do all the work for him. That obviously extends to groups like PBUS.

My advice is simple, and completely different. Bail agents, you need to break free from ABC and the insurance-infested PBUS before it's too late. Their strategy -- to fight bail reform -- is not the strategy that keeps you in business.

Ever since I first started looking into it 10 years ago, I realized that bail reform was inevitable. INEVITABLE. Get it? It was always going to happen. And now it's happening, and all the insurance people can do is fight. That won't work. If you've read even a fraction of my posts, if you've ever read any of my papers, you'd know why.

I know virtually everything ABC and PBUS are doing. I'm not kidding -- people tell me everything for some reason. And everything they're doing -- from sniveling around DOJ and filing weird class action lawsuits to hiring a PR firm and fabricating news stories for bogus websites -- simply isn't going to work. People want to change, and they need help with the changes. They don't want a fight.

There's only one thing that I identified as a "genius move" that would forestall bail reform for about 20 years, and the insurance dudes actually did sort of the opposite of that move recently (remember, I said I'd tell people what the "genius move" was if I ever saw it happen). So there's a smart strategy, but the insurance companies do the opposite.

Likewise, in the Harris County opinion, the judge had to tell ABC that it didn't even know what the word "bail" meant. So  there you have it; an incompetent group with the opposite of a smart strategy.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a video of a committee in Philadelphia ripping on an insurance guy, a bail agent, and some dude from New Jersey. At the end, one of the committee members said to the agent something like: "We're changing. Have you done anything at all to try to adapt to that change?" Another good question would have been, "Is there anything you all can do to help us change?"

Those are good questions. The answers, of course, are, "No, because the insurance dudes said I should fight everything."

Join PBUS? No way.


Monday, July 10, 2017

History of Bail


People have been citing to our History of Bail paper that's contained on the PJI website. That's okay, but that document was just designed to give an overview of the history, which was needed back in about 2010.

If you need to know bail's history in a bit more detail for any reason (or for some better reflection concerning historical trends and what they mean), but especially if you're writing a court opinion or brief or something, look at the history sections in my Fundamental's paper, my Money paper, and my Model Bail Laws paper, which are all on my website.

The history of bail shows that "bail" equals release, that "no bail" equals detention, and that if anything interferes with these two notions, bail reform happens. Secured money bonds interfere with both bail as release and no bail as detention. That's why I started telling people in about 2007 that bail reform in America was inevitable.


Monday, July 3, 2017

NCSC Trends in State Courts


Here's a link to the National Center for State Courts' Trends Magazine, the publication put out once a year to educate courts and judges across America about big things affecting the judiciary.

As noted by it's website, "NCSC is the organization courts turn to for authoritative knowledge and information, because its efforts are directed by the Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, and other associations of judicial leaders."  

My article on the inevitability of bail reform focuses on how judges are more involved now than in any previous generation of reform.

You'll note that there are no articles written by bail insurance companies -- rather than to help courts with what's happening, they've decided mostly to fight them.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bail Insurance Lobbyist Representing You!

Here's a video worth watching.

It shows just how bad the bail insurance companies' strategy to "fight everything" is doing on the ground in places that are actually trying to change. Scroll to about the 3:24:15 mark and see the ex-head of ABC, a bail agent, and some dude from New Jersey, all talking about how nobody should change anything.

The reaction from the City of Philadelphia Special Committee on Criminal Justice Reform is harsh, and shows just how ineffective the insurance lobbyists have become. Ineffective to the point where it gradually became clear that the Special Committee was personally offended by the panel.

I feel bad for the agent -- it's clear that this whole thing was orchestrated by the ex-ABC guy, and the agent was just trying to say what the ABC guy told him to say. But anytime you use the terms "circle of love," "accountability," and other insurance coined phrases, you should really think twice. I mean, do you think taking someone's mother's car is in any way a part of a "circle of love"? And, as I've said many times before, "accountability" is a punishment term, not a bail term. But mostly, people just don't want to hear how great everything is when they've already decided to reform it.

So take a step back and you'll see the overall flaw in the insurance strategy. The City of Philadelphia sets up a Committee seeking answers about how to change, not whether to change. The bail insurance companies respond by saying, "Don't change."

How does that go over? Well, watch and see.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bail Agents, This Should Worry You


Bail agents, if the insurance companies were making any progress, you'd see independent opinion pieces popping up all over America with varying views about bail reform. You wouldn't be able to even keep track of them, and they'd be coming from a variety of big, important groups or people who have legitimate opinions about bail. That's what I see every day -- and I can honestly say that I can't keep track of any of it.

But what do you get? Opinion pieces written and likely paid for by ABC and the insurance-infested PBUS.

The latest example is, "Bail Keeps Criminals Away from the Rest of Us," an opinion piece posted by ABC and PBUS the other day. How do I know this piece is just a shill piece for the insurance companies? Because the dude who wrote it doesn't know anything about bail and keeps talking about all the stuff the insurance companies are peddling.

Let's start with the title. You do know that when bail keeps criminals away from the rest of us, that's actually "no bail," right? Bail that is designed to keep criminals from the rest of us is unconstitutional. This legal lesson is lost on the insurance companies, though, and they keep trying to force people to think that somehow they have something to do with public safety. But the author doesn't know that -- he writes what they tell him.

Next the author tries a history lesson, saying that "prior to the advent of bail, suspects were held until their trial date." Wrong. With a capital W. Bail has always been release. Even the predecessors to bail -- before the Normans, before jails even, were based on release. I honestly don't know what this guy is talking about, but you should know that the insurance companies' attempt to write a competing history of bail has failed already. Really, man, I'd like to see a cite for this one.

Then there's the language. Only bail insurance companies say "get out of jail free," "social justice warriors," and "algorithm regime."

Then there's what the author cites to. Jefferson County Colorado is a favorite of bail insurance companies because that's where I came from. You only have to know two things about Jeffco. They got rid of money bail for 14 weeks, and everything went well. After that pilot, they went back to using money bail and everything sucked. By the way, it was the insurance companies coming out to Jeffco and attacking me personally that ultimately led me to do what I do now full time. Do you think that coming after me back then was a good strategy? Think about that every time they make personal attacks, and be sure to give a big thanks to ABC for getting me started and to PBUS for keeping me going.

He also cites to a study by Helland and Tabarrok, which has been discredited by the very agency that provided the data for that study to begin with. But the point is, nobody cites to those guys on their own -- they do it only when it's part of the insurance company script.

Then there's New Jersey.

And finally, there's the fact that the entire piece does exactly what ABC and PBUS do best -- fight and argue for the status quo without any ideas to help jurisdictions that are actually trying to change. "It isn't perfect," the author says, "but it beats the alternative." That argument is worthless and failing as we speak.

All of this should worry you, bail agents, because ABC and PBUS have to provide all of the crap for people to say. It may look like someone has put a bit of independent thought into this opinion piece, but that's just not true. ABC and PBUS don't have any people talking about keeping the money bail system in place on their own, and so ABC and PBUS have to actually manufacture people's opinions.

Like I said, I can't even keep track of all the people across America writing about changing "bail" and "no bail." I don't have to tell anyone what to say. They just say it. What do the bail insurance companies do? They use shills.

And because using a shill is a weasel move, I use the weasel pic.






Thursday, June 8, 2017

PBUS Definitely Won't Publish This!

Wow, that worked well.

I posted my blog about the Harris County case, PBUS read it, posted its own blog, and then said I was wrong when I predicted PBUS wouldn't talk about it.

So all I have to do is taunt PBUS, and they'll print whatever I want their bail agents to see?

Excellent. Let's try it again, but this time let's give the bail agents something a little meatier.

1. The Harris County loss is indicative of the entire insurance company strategy. ABC and the insurance-infested PBUS intend to fight literally everything -- yes, all the way to the Supreme Court -- and they're willing to take bail agents down while they do it. I've written tons of times about how this strategy only works for the bail insurance companies, and it inevitably dooms agents.

2. New Jersey is a prime example. Money bail is gone. Bail agents are gone. There's no going back. Why? Because the insurance companies fought literally everything. Now, even though money is still there, and even though judges could set surety bonds, they don't. All those stories about NJ being a failure? That's an ex-bondsman and a disgruntled insurance blogger making up stories to keep agents hoping that what happened in NJ won't happen to them. If defendants are really dangerous, NJ has a way to detain them without money. Money bail is done there.

3. NM is another prime example, I haven't read them completely yet, but I see a definite slant against commercial surety bonds there. Why? Because the insurance companies fought everything. And guess what? Even if you survive there for a little while, another Harris County-type case will force NM to stop using money altogether.

4. The insurance company strategy could have been to help states through this generation of bail reform. Instead, they have only fought every effort to improve without providing any answer of their own. Because of that, they're eliminating their own industry.

5. The bail agents only hope is to break free from the insurance companies. Hire their own person who can see past the "fight everything" mentality and help the states move through this generation of reform. If they do, then people who are bail agents today may (and I mean "may," because the longer they wait, the worse it gets -- it may already be too late) have some future in pretrial release and detention.

6. By the way, that future doesn't mean just adding GPS or drug testing services to a traditional money bond. It's more than that, and if you don't know what I'm talking about by now, I'm not sure there's much hope.

7. Finally, despite what PBUS and ABC say, this is not a partisan movement. You may see some small wins due to politics, just as you did before, but mostly this thing is bipartisan and inevitable.