Thursday, September 24, 2009

Commissioners' Views on the Pretrial Release Program at the Orange County Jail

In a response to a mailer sent by Accredited to citizens educating them on the type of offenses individuals are being released on through the Pretrial Release program without ever seeing a Judge, the Board of County Commissioners hastily added an addendum to this past meeting's agenda, which wasn't published on the on-line public agenda, for the Corrections Department to make a presentation on the Pretrial Release program.

Statutory authority was discussed for the program, the "process" for screeing defendants and how defendants are supervised. I found it interesting that the manager of the program stressed the level of supervision given to defendants yet said that, "most defendants choose the automated telephone call-in system as their preferred method of supervision." That's really keeping an eye on those defendants!

Kudos to Commissioners Brummer and Fernandez for stating their concerns regarding the types of offenses individuals are being released on. However the other Commissioners either said nothing one way or another regarding the program or stated that they were, "relatively comfortable" with how the program currently operates!

The issue is not just that our tax dollars are being spent on a program that says it is doing its, "statutorily mandated purpose" by allowing the release of defendants on non-monetary means, but about people being released on serious offenses, which are not low-level or non-violent by any means.

If you feel an appropriate level of supervision for someone charged with carrying/possessing a concealed firearm/weapon, armed possession of drugs, grand theft, DUI, burglary, aggravated assault, battery etc. is to call in once or twice a week to automated telephone system, then do nothing. However, if you want such individuals adequately supervised by a licensed bail agent who is financially and physically responsible for that defendant, then attend the public hearing this evening at 6:00 at the Board of County Commissioner's chambers and let your Commissioners know how you feel.

Individuals who CHOOSE to commit crimes should be held accountable for their behavior!


  1. Absolutely, forget the presumption of innocence, throw out the constitution, and who cares about the right to release on the least restrictive terms and conditions with an emphasis on non-monetary terms. The constitution is highly over-rated.

  2. In terms of the constitution and the presumption of innocence, we are so far from the intent and soul of the document, and the intent of law it is ridiculous. A self confessed murderer has his "rights" protected, is released on bond while the system does it's "speedy trial" dance...just CYA
    tactics that are what is now TACIT APPROVAL.
    Check out the recidivism rates. No penalty does not deter crime.
    Let the Dogs private money run the criminals down after the jump on the private money bond.
    Releasing perps of violent crime is STUPID.