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Ballot Initiative in Colorado to Limit Free Release

I was in Denver last Friday to attend a brief, though not insignificant, hearing in the basement of the Colorado State Capitol.  The hearing, which lasted no more than 15 minutes was a procedural step in moving forward a ballot initiative that would require the posting of a secured bail bond for all crimes other than a first offense, non violent felonies or misdemeanors.

The ballot initiative is being put forth by an organization called Safe Streets Colorado.   In order to get an initiative on the ballot for the upcoming November election, Safe Streets Colorado must obtain 5% of the voter turnout in the most recent election held for the Secretary of State.  In this case, 5% equals 76,000.

There are significant costs involved with a ballot initiative.  They will need a website and the production and advertising costs for print, TV and radio spots.  The projected need is between $800,000 and $1.4 million in contributions in order to get this initiative placed on the ballot.

Safe Streets Colorado, whose website is scheduled to go up April 12th, plans to launch a $15 donation campaign so all citizens of Colorado can afford to participate in an effort designed to protect their neighborhoods and streets from criminal offenders released pretrial without a secured bond.

Bail bonds agents in Colorado and around the country should pay attention to this effort and make a contribution if you believe it is the right thing to do.