Friday, October 8, 2010

Post Conviction Bond - An Innovative Partnership with the Private Surety Bail Industry

Many states across the country are grappling with prison overcrowding and the rising cost of incarceration.  As a result, convicted prisoners may be released from their sentences early and return to the public realm.  Naturally, such releases raise questions regarding public safety.

National studies continue to show that the private surety bail industry is the most effective and efficient method of pretrial release.  That's because the industry is financially and physically responsible for defendants they release on bail and instill a network of the defendant's family and friends into the bail contract.  All parties together become accountable for the defendant's appearance in court and adherence to release conditions.  This same concept can be applied to supervising and being responsible for convicted prisoners released early from prison.

When a prisoner is released from prison prior to the completion of their sentence, they are released on parole.  Conditions of parole often include things such as obeying the law, refraining from drug and alcohol use, avoiding contact with the parolee's victims, obtaining employment, and maintaining required contacts with a parole officer.  With the posting of a post conviction bond, the bail agent would work in partnership with the parole officer by financially ensuring the paroled prisoner complies with the terms of parole. 
The same principles as with a pretrial release bond would be in place with a post conviction bond: if the parolee fails to comply with any terms of parole, the court will order the bond forfeited and issue a warrant for arrest.  The bail agent then has a certain amount of time to locate the parolee and return him/her back to the custody of the court.  If the bail agent is unable to return the parolee back to the court, a financial penalty equal to the full amount of the bond would have to be paid to the court by the bail agent. 

National studies have shown that pretrial defendants released on private surety bail are less likely to commit crimes while out on bail.  The industry believes our participation with the post conviction bond will have the same results, which is a win-win for the taxpayers and a direct affect on public safety. 

Some states are already allowing the use of post conviction bonds with great success.  It is a great resource that the private surety bail industry can provide.  We hope that other states will consider using such bonds in the future.


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