The bail industry is under attack!
The introduction of H.R. 4611, The No Money Bail Act of 2016, should serve as a wake-up call for the commercial bail industry.
H.R. 4611 is a benchmark accomplishment for those that seek to put our industry out of business. With H.R. 4611, our opponents are boldly and unapologetically calling for the elimination of our industry.
Your voice is needed now in opposition to HR 4611, the No Money Bail Act of 2016. Please take a minute to write your Member of Congress to let them know of your opposition to H.R. 4611.
H.R. 4611, the No Money Bail Act of 2016
H.R. 4611, the No Money Bail Act of 2016, was introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). The legislation has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
H.R. 4611 is troubling on several fronts. First, H.R. 4611 raises serious constitutional concerns. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment. Eliminating the commercial bail bond industry would violate the Eighth Amendment by denying defendants the ability to post bail except through a government organization.
While proponents of the legislation claim the bill is a means of eliminating perceived economic discrimination, the reality is that commercial bail is available and affordable for all but the most high-risk and potentially dangerous defendants.
What is behind this bill?
If enacted, H.R. 4611 would replace commercial bail with taxpayer funded pretrial release programs. These pretrial release programs have significantly higher failure to appear rates. These high failure to appear rates are due to the fact that non-financial, pretrial release programs have no incentives or means of insuring that the accused appear for trial. When defendants do not appear at trial, the public is put at risk. Crime goes up, precious law enforcement resources are used to serve warrants and defendants are more likely to become hardened criminals. The negative impact on public safety, law enforcement and communities is immeasurable.
Commercial bail, on the other hand, works because defendants and those around them are incentivized to insure that defendants appear for trial. Commercial bail companies are private sector solutions. They are small businesses that effectively address one of our nation’s most challenging problems; insuring that our limited jail space is utilized by those that pose the greatest risk to society. And commercial bail costs taxpayers nothing.
H.R. 4611 seeks to promote the least effective programs over and above the proven – and constitutionally protected -- solution that actually works.
The elimination of commercial bail is a wrong-headed proposal that would bring disastrous consequences upon our nation.
Your voice is needed now in opposition to H.R. 4611, the No Money Bail Act of 2016. Please take a moment to write your Member of Congress to let them know of your opposition to H.R. 4611.