I’m back on the road again with trips through Louisiana and Texas over the next two weeks. Business as usual. There is also business as usual around the country as the landscape in the criminal justice system continues to evolve.
I read an online article last week where deep pocket political powerhouses George Soros and Koch Industries have joined forces with the ACLU, Americans for Tax Reform, Freedom Works and others to form the Coalition for Public Safety. These groups have pulled together $5 million dollars of initial funding to get the program off the ground. The gist of the program being to reform the criminal justice system by finding ways to reduce jail crowding and addressing overcriminalization and overincarceration.
Of course, the criminal justice system is in need of reform. We have to be careful to not over correct by creating an environment where the consequences for illegal behavior is insufficient to deter crime as Californians have experienced in the wake of Prop. 47.
It is essential representatives of the appearance bond industry have an opportunity to participate in any discussions involving reforms to pretrial detention and jail crowding. The wealth of knowledge bail agents possess should not be ignored.
We are also keeping an eye on electronic bonding efforts in Texas and Florida and minimum premium requirements in Connecticut and South Carolina. These initiatives can be positive if implemented properly.
Be sure to check out our 2015 Legislative Update to see what is occurring in your state and trending around the country. It’s easier to hear the train coming down the tracks if you keep your ear to the ground.