With over 2 million people currently in our nation’s prisons and jails, the United States leads the world in incarceration. While crime rates have not necessarily increased, changes in sentencing law and policy have led to a 500% increase in incarcerations over the last forty years. These changes have resulted in jail and prison overcrowding and burdened taxpayers forced to accommodate the expanding system. Many of these criminals are first time offenders, unlikely to commit another crime.
Bail and Bail Bonds
Judges weigh the right of each defendant to have a reasonable bail against public safety. They do not want to release a defendant on bail, only to have them commit another crime. A few of the factors that determine whether or not a defendant is granted bail are what crime the defendant was arrested for, if the crime was violent, the defendant’s criminal history, and flight risk. If the defendant has no criminal background, and has committed a minor, non-violent offense, they will often be granted bail. These defendants can post bail and wait at home for their court date, freeing up jail space for more serious and dangerous criminals. For some defendants it is difficult to pay a large bail sum. Bail bonds allow them to pay a fee in order to be released, giving them their freedom prior to their court appearance. Without bail bonds many defendants would be sitting in jail for days or even weeks, contributing to the jail overcrowding problem.
The Cost of Overcrowding
As a nation, we pay to house and care for each person sitting in a jail or prison. Each defendant who is able to post bail decreases this total amount. Overcrowded jails are also more expensive to operate and more dangerous for prisoners and prison employees. These jails are at increased risks of violence, riots, elevated stress levels among staff and inmates, spread of diseases, and poor living conditions like sanitation, sewage and nutrition. These are not just city or prison problems. County jails are also seeing a growing population that has become difficult to manage. Access to bail and bail bonds can eliminate some of this stress by allowing non-violent offenders to await trial outside of the jail.
No matter the size or occupancy of the jail, if you or someone you love has been arrested, you will want to be released as quickly as possible. Call us today and let us help you.