There are many advantages to having a bail bond system, and one of the most important is… it is our Constitutional right. It also reinforces the American justice system: innocent until proven guilty. Without a bail bond system our jails would be extremely overcrowded, it would cost more to house inmates, and many lives could be disrupted without a chance to be released from jail.
Federal and State laws regulate bail amounts and circumstances that could cause someone to be denied bail. The right to bail is not a guarantee. The number one priority and concern is safety when determining bail. Those individuals who may be a danger to society or their community, or possibly flight risks, or maybe even charged with a serious or violent crime, are often denied bail, or their bail is set so high that they are unable to make bail and get released.
Once someone is released from jail they typically go back to their normal routines while awaiting their court date or disposition of their case. This allows them to keep working, take care of their families, and continue to pay their bills. People could lose their jobs, homes, and possibly their children, if they were not able to hire a bail bondsman and be released from jail, all before they are ever convicted of a crime.
Another advantage to a defendant being able to hire a bail bondsman and be released from jail is their safety. There is so much overcrowding in our jails, as well as being a violent and dangerous place. The longer an individual is in jail, the more likely the chance of injury or even death. The Los Angeles Times reported, “Since 2000, 15 people have been slain in Los Angeles County jails, including several low-risk inmates killed by gang members or other dangerous convicts.”
There is simply no presumption of innocence without the right to bail. Individuals could end up remaining in jail for a long time, and may not even be convicted on a crime. While they are in jail, the government is responsible for housing defendants, ensuring their safety, and room and board. If these defendants are not given the option to bail out of jail, the overpopulation and financial burden continues to increase on a prison system that is already overcrowded.
To sum it all up, it appears the bail bond system has some solid benefits that help our society. That tax money is saved by not having to pay for the daily expenditures of housing an inmate, or trying to keep them safe while in an overpopulated jail. Additionally, the risk is assumed by individuals and private companies instead of state governments, and the rights of the defendant are protected. It doesn’t cost tax payers one penny!