Friday, June 10, 2016

Hey, Bail Agents, Did the Insurance Companies Blog About This?

You bail agents are certainly getting a lot of stuff handed to you through the various bail insurance websites and Facebook pages. If that’s all you end up reading, you’re probably going to think that they’re winning their battle to keep the status quo. But here's a link to an event those insurance company lobbyists probably didn’t blog about. It’s the Washington Supreme Court’s Minority and Justice Committee’s hearing called, “Pretrial Justice: Reducing the Rate of Incarceration.”

This takes a bit of time to watch – over 3 and a half hours – but if you do, you’ll start to get a feel for how this whole reform business is going. Think about who was in the room: Supreme Court Justices. Think about who wasn’t in the room: bail insurance lobbyists lamely trying to push their various “research studies” concerning money bail. I suppose if those studies were any good, someone else might have mentioned them, but that didn’t happen. Instead, if you watch the video you’ll hear some interesting quotes, like:

“Money bail clearly does not work.”

“I do not believe in money bail. It does not work.”

“Although it may be possible to design a money bail system that does not regularly violate the constitution, we haven’t seen it yet.”

These types of investigations, hearings, and exploratory educational efforts are popping up all around the country. So many that I’m having a hard time keeping up with them.

So ask your insurance companies what their strategy is to lobby state Supreme Courts. More importantly, ask them what they’re going to do when everything does change. Remember, there may be a place for bail agents in the future of American pretrial release and detention, but there’s no place for bail insurance companies. That’s why their goals are not your goals, and it’s why their strategy is only hurting you.