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Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:00 AM by Michael J. Whitlock, MCBA Vice President American Surety Company - 5 Comments

It seems like only yesterday I was in Denver attending a very brief, but required hearing to advance a ballot initiative in Colorado. As I reported to my readers at that time, an organization called Safe Streets Colorado was pushing an initiative to limit the use of Pretrial Services to first time criminal offenders and misdemeanants.
Getting an initiative on the November ballot, Safe Streets Colorado would require obtaining nearly 75,000 validated signatures on petitions in support of the initiative. A daunting task, but with the help of the Americans for the Preservation of Bail (APOB), Colorado bail agents’ and concerned citizens’; 172,000 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State on August 2nd.  According to APOB this is the most signatures ever submitted in support of a ballot initiative in Colorado’s 132 year history; quite an achievement.
After overcoming a legal challenge over a filing deadline set by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State certified the initiative as Proposition 102.
I’ve had a number of conversations with bail bond agents in Colorado and around the country about the choice of taking the issue of Pretrial Release and the release of criminal defendants from jail at taxpayer expense to the taxpaying citizens of Colorado. Some agents I spoke to believed this was absolutely the right path to take while others preferred the legislative process.    
The bail bond industry in Colorado has suffered for years from an apathetic and incongruous bonding community. Colorado has been unsuccessful in their efforts to form a cohesive bail agent association similar to what we see in California, Oklahoma and Texas, etc.
As a bystander, I’ve not seen anything like this in my 28 years in bail. I find the effort which has taken place in Colorado to be very intriguing and I’m anxious to see the result. 
To APOB’s credit, they saw an opportunity to bring Colorado bail agents together under a common cause and in doing so have done the near impossible, placing an initiative on the November ballot that would severely limit the use of Pretrial Release. Should Proposition 102 pass, and I believe it will, it will be seen as a huge victory not only for Colorado Bail Agents but the citizens of Colorado who are tired of seeing their tax dollars used to provide free bail to criminal defendants.
If I was a citizen of Colorado, I would vote yes to Proposition 102.

I would be interested to hear your comments on Proposition 102 and the course taken to limit the use of taxpayer funded Pretrial Services in Colorado. Click here to send me your thoughts.

Comments

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Posted October 7,2010 at 01:16 PM by Maryellen Pollack

Mike,thank you for your letter of support, prop 102 will have a positive impact on the fight for all bail when it passes, not just Colorado.

They are still needing and accepting financial support as well to conyimue to carry the fight to the opposition.

I am asking all your readers to visit www.safestreetscolorado.com and to contact them to pledge their monetary support as well.

Respectfully,

Maryellen

We are winning this battle, but we need to continue to press on through Nov 2!

Posted October 8,2010 at 09:48 AM by Steve Mares

Thank you for your support! Look forward in talking to you in the near future!! Please continue to encourage all bail agents to help in this effort.

Steve Mares

Posted October 16,2010 at 11:35 AM by Bob and Elena

Thank you Mike for putting this issue plan and simple. We have had many debates here with our local Sheriff, D.A. and county officals and feel positive about our efforts. If you ever make it to the western slope of Colorado we would sure like to see you again:)

Posted October 28,2010 at 09:54 PM by Vicki Marble

Thank you, Mike, for your fair and balanced view on Prop 102. This has been an incredible ordeal for the People of Colorado. Pretrial, a George Soros Program, has the potential of sweeping the country and rendering the citizens victim to rampant crime. As in Philidelphia, criminal welfare will cost the tax payers Billions and leave innocent victims with no recourse. Like open borders so go open jail cells. No Law... no order. Prop 102 effects us all. We need Safe Streets in every State, in every County. This is not a Bail issue this is a survival issue.
Thank you again for your support. Please think about getting involved. It is for much more than the survival of the Bail Industry.
Regards,
Vicki Marble

Posted October 29,2010 at 01:36 AM by ohwilleke

Pre-trial started in the 1960s, when George Soros with a kid with no money and has been sweeping the country ever since.

The failure to appear rate in Colorado for pre-trial is under 5%, and the rearrest rate in under 1%. Every DA and Sheriff in the state backs it, as does the criminal defense bar. It has saved several dollars for every dollar spent in every state in Colorado where it has been used.



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