KILL THE BILL
A recent bill has been introduced to the California Assembly known as AB 42 or SB10-Bail. The aim of this bill is to eliminate the cash bail system for criminal cases in California, replacing it with a pretrial services agency.
This bill removes every person’s right to bail prior to conviction.
Now, as an arrestee you have the immediate right to post a bail through the vehicle of your choice in cash or bond for a specified amount for release while charges are pending. SB10-Bail will remove that right and put a governmental pretrial services agency in charge of conducting a risk assessment. This is forwarded to a judge who will approve or design conditions of bail such as GPS tracking. Processing time is ‘unspecified’ in the bill itself. Proposed amendments cite the risk assessment could take up to 48 hours.This means that if you get arrested, you will sit in jail until a governmental agency makes decisions about your freedom.
It's time to stand up and provide our valuable experience to the politicians, the courts, and the public. We must act NOW.
- LeeAnn Curtis, Bail Advocate
Dear California Legislators,
CA SB10 proposes to eliminate cash bail in California. CA SB-10 needs to be publicly criticized, objectively reviewed, and politicians need to be corrected for their errors in putting them together. If the poverty rate in California hovers around 16%, why would we take on billions of dollars in costly pretrial release programs so that such a small population can be given another entitlement such as free bail?
The cash bail system is a constitutional freedom. The 8th amendment guarantees that bail be reasonable for those held to answer for criminal charges. Bail is a monetary incentive and makes a defendant of criminal charges fiscally responsible for their case. Bail can be posted in cash or with a bail bond which is a form of insurance.
Defendants in criminal cases can be compelled to appear if they are required to invest from their wallets. Both cash bail and bail bonds require an investment by the defendant and their families; at no cost to the tax payers.
Bail reduces recidivism and pretrial misconduct, it reduces tax payer burdens that weigh down the system with costly FTA warrants, and in many cases involves a family support group to assume financial responsibility. A good bail agent will involve and require that close family members pay and indemnify bonds. The chain of liability is then spread across the defendant, the indemnitor, and the bail agent / surety.
Accountability and compliance is safeguarded by monetary incentives and should not be the responsibility of the tax payers. Pretrial detention systems imply that some form of electronic monitoring can replace bail. Costs of equipment however and labor intensive supervision will prove more costly than preserving our current system and it will rely solely on tax payer dollars.
This is a call for every judge in the Superior Court in California to survey as of now the numbers of FTA warrants in their systems due to OR releases. This number will prove staggering and the tax payer costs that result in this will be even more staggering.
Research shows that one failure to appear (FTA) warrant will cost tax payers $1700 per instance. A recent Dept. of Insurance panel discussion cited that Sacramento has 56,000 warrants in their system; this totals over $98 million in costs to handle the warrants. Since they don’t have the budget to handle warrants, the warrants don’t go into the system. The Bail Bond industry does not contribute to this warrant count because they privately guarantee appearances. If arrestees are released on a ‘no money bail’ product the number of FTAs will go up.
This bill will have astounding costs to taxpayers. The ‘no money bail’ act unfairly punishes everyone by ending their right to decide about bail for themselves.
About the Website Author.
LeeAnn Curtis has been in the bail industry for over 25 years. She owns and operates Alder Creek Bail Bonds & Sierra Monitoring Services. With decades of experience, she is a trusted voice in the legal and bail systems. She also is a licensed bail instructor for the California Department of Insurance for the Past 20 years.
Bail Licence #BA1840338