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Bail Reform Causing Problems in Dallas

As a detective for the Dallas Police Department, I took an oath to protect my fellow citizens for more than 30 years. Though retired, I still take that oath very seriously, which is why I know firsthand that so-called “bail reform” initiatives put the lives of Texans at risk. We cannot let Dallas fall into the trap.

Bail reform advocates have their sights set on overhauling Dallas’ bail system, signifying a dangerous shift in policy that favors criminals and ignores victims. The traditional bail system used in almost every other Texas county works hand-in-hand with law enforcement to ensure defendants show up for court and answer for their crimes. Without it, dangerous criminals are released on the streets virtually overnight.

Here’s the long and short of it:

In 2017, a federal judge declared Harris County’s bail system unconstitutional, ordering the release of misdemeanor defendants within 24 hours regardless of their ability to pay. This led to a massive uptick in individuals released on “unsecured bonds,” which are little more than pinky promises to show up for court. Data from the Harris County district clerkshows that of 8,000 unsecured bonds granted between June and December 2017, an alarming 3,500 were forfeited, meaning 43 percent of those individuals failed to appear for court.

According to a study by UT-Dallas, defendants released using a bail bond company were significantly less likely to skip their court hearing than those on unsecured bonds, and they saved taxpayers over $10 million for felony and misdemeanor defendants. Without the bail system, we are all are on the hook for offenders that skip court or commit additional crimes.

Much of this public safety crisis can be attributed to Dallas County’s love affair with the risk assessment tool, a computer algorithm designed to predict the likelihood of a defendant to fail to appear in court or commit offenses while they’re out of jail. The idea is to designate defendants as being high or low risk, but many assessed as low-risk and released commit additional crimes. A study released this month by George Mason University asserts that these tools are much less effective in practice than in theory, with little to no proof they actually reduce crime, incarceration rates or racial disparities. They were found to be no more successful in decision-making than an ordinary person with little criminal justice experience would be.

Take the State of Kentucky, the gold standard for the bail reform movement. Kentucky mandated the use of a risk assessment tool in 2011, yet as the tool was increasingly utilized, the rate of failures-to-appear and pretrial crime actually increased. The risk assessment tool is gaining rapid traction around the U.S.  with little evidence it actually works, and that’s a risk Dallas County can’t afford to take.

The Houston Police Officers Union says the judicial system has become a revolving door for repeat offenders because of bail reform. Arrestees brag to law enforcement they’ll be out in a matter of hours, making a mockery of our justice system. Why, for example, is an offender arrested 34 times and released on an unsecured bond? Is that what we consider “low-risk?”

Relying on technology that lacks the ability to reason and consider human behavior opens the door to colossal error. I’ve witnessed too much of what these offenders can do, and I worry for the safety of our communities if we allow a computer to decide what has historically been the decision of experienced, elected judges.

As a former long-time law enforcement officer, I agree that not everything about our criminal justice system is perfect. Meaningful reforms are necessary, but police officers don’t take an oath just to play a game of catch-and-release. If reform means utilizing an unproven software, putting the safety of Dallasites at risk and spitting in the face of victims, I suggest we take a pass.

Detective Kim Sanders is a retired Dallas police detective and part owner of Keep My ID.
Source: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/02/02/keep-harmful-harris-county-bail-reform-dallas

Criminal justice reform actually hurting public safety

Ricko Canaz Ball is a career criminal undeterred and unrehabilitated by years behind bars. Twenty years ago, his crimes included stealing a minivan, stereo equipment and guns — not to mention endangering lives by leading police on a high-speed chase. More recently, he graduated to robbing so many automobile-related businesses that he was nicknamed “Oil Slickster.”

Ball was able to commit his latest string of crimes because Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Act freed him early from prison. Personally, we think the act should be called the Louisiana Prisoner Release and Public Safety Be Damned Act.

We are on a dangerous trajectory in this country. Because we can’t make priorities in government spending, we want to slash prison costs by opening the prison gates and reducing probation oversight. The result is innocent people are becoming victims to offenders who should be in jail instead of on the streets. Criminals have all the rights. Victims have none. The inability of government to live within its means is creating more Get Out of Jail Free cards than the makers of the Monopoly game.

The Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Act has been a disaster. In fact, now the governor is throwing up his hands and accusing district attorneys and judges of forcing him to free criminals. That’s a sharp turnaround from just a few months ago when he used words like “historic,” “data-driven” and “works better for everyone” to describe the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Act.

We do not dispute that the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Act was crafted with bipartisan support and the best of intentions. The fact of the matter is that even the most well-crafted henhouse will fail to protect the chickens if they’re guarded by foxes. The Louisiana Department of Corrections and Public Safety is completely incapable of competently executing any type of criminal justice reform. Officials at the Louisiana Department of Corrections and Public Safety are too intent on covering up their own misdeeds to ensure public safety.

Those misdeeds include a litany of corruption that has spawned investigations and indictments. Underneath all of that is a layer of incompetence so deep that the Corrections Department doesn’t know where a prisoner is on any given day of the week or when he should actually be released from prison.

It’s partly because of the failure of Edwards’ prisoner release program that we opposed sweeping changes to federal sentencing laws. No doubt the federal legislation is well-meaning, but it could slash sentences for people who committed horrible crimes. Our federal prisons are not populated with people who jaywalked or tossed a gum wrapper on the ground. Our federal prisons are populated with drug traffickers, gang members and weapons offenders.

Yet another problem with Edwards’ Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Act is that it is cost-driven. Prisoners aren’t being freed because they’ve been rehabilitated. They’re being freed because it’s cheaper than paying their room and board. That’s why Ricko Canaz Ball was unleashed to burglarize businesses in north Louisiana.

Texas took a very measured approach to criminal justice reform. The Pew Charitable Trusts looked at changes to the state’s juvenile corrections system and concluded that Texas was able to cut costs while protecting public safety. One of the tools that Texas created was a program that helps judges determine a youth’s recidivism risk.

Texas is actively helping offenders through substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment and community engagement. In Louisiana, freed offenders get a bus ticket. It’s no wonder that Tyrone White quickly robbed two roofers at gunpoint shortly after Edwards’ prisoner release program set him free. Of course, White — all of 24 years of age — also had more than 60 arrests on his record. He didn’t deserve a “get out of jail free” card in the first place, but Edwards temporarily saved money by letting him loose.

We’ve got to be smarter about this. We can’t let prisoners go simply to cut down on the cost of bologna sandwiches. Public safety needs to come first.

John Kennedy is one of Louisiana’s U.S. senators. Jeff Landry is Louisiana’s attorney general.

Source: http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/article_ffcd8746-22df-11e8-a865-ab8c0c15b354.html

Repeat Offenders On The Loose

HOUSTON – Houston police are trying to find the people responsible for a number of robberies in the Houston area.

On July 11 around 1:30 p.m., a woman parked her vehicle in a parking lot at 7001 Long Drive in southeast Houston. When the woman got out of her vehicle to assist her child with the seat belt, a black Honda Accord pulled behind her and a man got out of the rear passenger-side door. The man opened the driver’s-side door and took the woman’s purse, police said. The man then got back inside the Accord and left the scene.

  • 8 in custody after Cinco Ranch bank robbery
  • Mother speaks out after being victim of ‘bank jugging’ robbery in SW Houston
  • Two men wanted for robbing Woodforest Bank

On the same day, about 30 minutes later, police said a woman parked her vehicle at 10632 Kingspoint Road, also in southeast Houston, after getting a money order from a check-cashing business near Monroe Boulevard and I-45. The woman went into a nail salon for a few minutes and then returned to her vehicle. When she was getting into her vehicle, a black Honda Accord pulled up behind her and a man got out of the rear passenger-side door. The man approached her vehicle, broke a window and forcibly took her purse, according to police. The man then got back inside the Accord and left the scene.

The man who is seen on surveillance video is described as black, about 20-25 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, about 130-150 pounds and has a small build and was wearing a green hoodie.

WATCH: HPD bank jugging surveillance video – 7001 Long at 1:30 p.m.

Police say these incidents show how bank jugging suspects work together. In the surveillance video, you can see a white SUV pull into the parking lot at the same time as the Accord. They wait as the victim returns to her vehicle and then attack, according to police.

The same people are believed to be responsible for three other robberies, two of which happened on the same day as the ones described above:

  • July 11 at 12:15 p.m. at 1300 Gessner Road
  • July 11 at 3:27 p.m. at 6000 Scott Street
  • July 12 at 12:47 p.m. at 9700 Bellaire Blvd.

https://www.click2houston.com/news/repeat-offenders-responsible-for-recent-robberies-police-say

Understanding the Bail Bonds Process in Brief and Knowing How to Get Out of Jail after Conviction

When a person gets convicted, no matter how serious the crime may be, the accused offender is guaranteed with his/her legal rights as per the constitution. It is a broadly accepted norm that until and unless a crime is proven in the court, no one can be held guilty. Thus, just like the other citizens, a crime suspect too has their set of rights that no legal representative body can take from them. Whether you are suspected of any minor criminal offense or have got convicted for a major felony, under the judiciary system, you will be provided with plenty of chances to prove your innocence. You have the complete right to choose for a bonding service to get a bail release from jail.

But, do you know what a bonding service is? Do you have any idea about bail bonds? How is it helpful? Bail bonds services are meant to help an accused suspect to get a fast bail release from the police custody, when lack sufficient amount of bail money. The convict has to pay only 10 percent of the entire bail amount as the bail bondsman will pay the rest. With the help of a bonding service, you can get out of jail in an easy, convenient, and quick manner. There are numerous bail bond companies that provide efficient assistance to convicts seeking a fast bail release. But, the bail bonds service providers of Houston, Texas, are the best in terms of their proficiency, bonds rates, and much more. If you are arrested anywhere around Texas and seeking a bail release, then you should hire the bail bonds agents of Houston, Texas.

Hiring a bail bonds service provider allow a convicted person to come out of jail quickly. But, how an arrested defendant hires a bail bondsman from jail? How they provide the 10 percent amount of bail to the bondsman from jail? Well, to get an answer to these questions, you need to understand the whole bail bond process.

bail bond

Let’s take a brief look at the bail bonds process of Houston, Texas. There are four major steps to a bail bonds process, which are:

The Conviction of the Accused Criminal

It is been broadly seen that everyday one out of three people between the age group of 23-25 gets convicted for some major or minor crime. Living inside the Police custody is never a great choice. Some of the common crimes for which one can get a bail include misdemeanors, DUI, and many more.

Phone Call Made by the Convict

In consideration of the legal rights of the accused, a defendant is allowed to make a phone call to any of his relatives or a bail bondsman. A suspect may contact an attorney or a relative, who may, in turn, hire a bail bondsman to get the defendant out of the jail.

Securing Support and Assistance from a Bail Bonds Service Provider

This is the most vital step of a bail bond process. Making the decision that, whether to hire a bail bonds service provider or not is very crucial. Hiring a bail bonds agent might be a key for your bail.

A bail bond service provider pledges a guarantee in the court for the defendant. Also, by hiring the bail bondsman, one minimizes the financial burden of paying the entire bail amount.

The bail bonds agents in Houston, Texas, makes sure that the defendant’s seeking assistance from them gets a fast bail release from jail.

Appearing for the Bail Trial in the Court

The last step of a bail bond process is appearing for the bail trial in the court. The court takes a note of the criminal background of the suspect, analyzes the guarantee made by the bail bond service provider, looks through the complete bail papers, and orders a bail release to the defendant on the financial responsibility of a bail bondsman.

So, if you have got convicted for a misdemeanor or felony offense, then it will be the best choice that you take the help of a bail bonds service. Opting for the bail bonds service will enable you to get out of jail fast and conveniently.

If you are taken to jail for a criminal offense anywhere in US, then surely seek help from the bail bond companies in Houston, Texas.

Tired of Dealing With the Traditional Bail Process? Know How the Pasadena Bail Bond Companies Can Help!!

 Have you got tired with the long process of bail? No More Worries Now!! The Pasadena, TX bail bond companies are there at your service for help!!

Being charged for some crime and getting arrested is the most annoying and stressful event of an individual’s lifetime. At such situations, the Pasadena bail bonds companies will help you to get out of jail fast by essentially stipulating to the cord into the jail but they will be responsible for ensuring that you show up at your scheduled court hearing date. As you may or may not know, the mere fact that you have been arrested and placed in the prison does not mean that you are guilty of any charges. You will, however, need to appear in court to answer the charges that are being brought against you. A Pasadena bail bond company will essentially need that you pay 10% of the total amount that the jail is asking for in terms of the bail amount.

bail bonds

 

Why Choose the Pasadena Bail Bond Companies?

All you require to do is promise that you will show up at the appointed hearing date. The Pasadena bail bond companies enter into an agreement with the court and stipulate that they will be responsible for dealing with you.

With the help provided by the Pasadena bail bond companies, you are able to get a release from the police custody without facing the financial trouble of paying the bail deposit money. Moreover, the bail bond service providers are solely responsible for paying off the complete money to the court, if you flee away after coming out of jail. However, this is not that easy. You may enter into a more troublesome situation, if you attempt to flee away after getting a release from the police custody.

The bail bond companies may hire bounty hunters to track you back and you will be put back into the prison after they catch you up.

Why Hire ‘A Mobile Bail Bonds’?

There might be many bail bond companies in Pasadena, TX that offer great bonding services to convicts. But, among all them, one of the best bail bond service providers in Pasadena, TX is ‘A Mobile Bail Bonds’. Know the top reasons for which the bonding services provided by this company are preferred by a great number of defendants seeking quick bail service:

Fast Processing of the Bail Bonds

This bail bond company help fast process the bail bonds and enable the defendants to get a quick release out of jail. The bail bond services provided by these Pasadena, TX bail bond companies is extremely reliable and enable defendants to get a relief from the hassle-oriented tasks related to the bail process. You are able to get a quick release out of jail without much inconvenience.

bail bonds service

Quick Release

With the bail bond services provided by this company, a convict can get a quick release out of jail.

Affordable Rates

This bonding company in Pasadena, TX offers the most affordable bail bonds. The rates of this company are the most affordable.

No Collaterals for Bail Bonds

This bail bond company offers no collateral bail bonds. You do not need a great property or asset to buy bail bonds from this company.

So, if you are charged with a crime accusation anywhere in Texas, then consider taking the assistance of this notable Pasadena bail bond company.