It’s good to be at home this week working in our northside Indianapolis office. I’ve never minded traveling the country visiting with bail agents though spending time at home with family is always welcome.
It’s looks like I’m not the only in Indianapolis this week. The National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) is holding its 43rd Annual Conference and Training Institute at the JW Marriott Hotel situated downtown next to Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians.
The Circle City is a great convention destination. As a taxpayer I’m happy to have them spend their money in our city. That said Indiana has largely gone towards the 90 percent discounted bail folks so our state doesn’t make for fertile farmland for the NAPSA version of pretrial release.
You may have been reading some of the recent editorials on the current bail system in Albuquerque, New Mexico, such that it is. These days most criminal arrestees, regardless of the offense, are walking out of jail on an unsecured release. Those that believe in unsecured release for all believe criminal offenders can be trusted to get themselves to court on time, every time. In many cases this may be true, in many cases it is not. Unfortunately, it’s anyone’s guess which people will show and which will not.
There is a reason bail bonds are the most effective means of guaranteeing a defendant appears for trial. The risk of financial loss is a powerful incentive to perform. This is true for the bail agent as it is true for the parents, employers or friends who have agreed to vouch for the defendant’s good intentions to appear.
Unsecured release advocates operate on blind faith individuals who have already demonstrated a diminished level of responsibility can be relied upon to appear in court and answer to the crime of which they have been charged. One simply has to check the outstanding warrants posted on the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office website to see a list of offenders with outstanding warrants who are currently at large that community. On this site you will find a list of 1783 outstanding warrants for domestic violence and 8216 warrants for DWI. That is 9,999 warrants on just two crime classifications.
Crime is real. Victims of crime are real. Society demands accountability and deserves safe communities to work, live and raise families.
I encourage those attending the NAPSA meeting in Indianapolis this week to visit some of the locl bail bond offices and speak with the fine professional bail agents in hopes they gain a better understanding of the commitment and financial risk these agents assume everyday while working within the criminal justice system.