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Monday, October 18, 2010

Prop 102 Undermines Pretrial Services

The Coloradoan

Proposition 102 on the Colorado ballot is about a lot of things; but more than anything, it is about money.
The proposition, if passed, would benefit the private bail bonds industry - its leading proponent - by requiring courts to prevent the release of most people arrested on unsecured bonds under the supervision of pretrial services. If secured bonds are required, defendants often turn to the bail bonds industry for those services.
But this issue is also about the money it could cost local taxpayers.
Proposition 102 speaks to local residents, in particular, because Larimer County is one of 10 Colorado counties that use a pretrial services program, in which judges can release suspects without a secured bond. Pretrial services assesses each defendant and makes recommendations that include alternatives to incarceration while a defendant is awaiting court action, including counseling, home visits, drug testing, telephone contacts, mental-health or substance-abuse treatment and home-monitoring devices. The idea behind using pretrial services is two-fold: It allows many defendants the opportunity to continue working while in the court system, and it saves the county by not requiring defendants to spend that time waiting in jail.
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said that, if passed, Proposition 102 could cost the county in excess of $5 million annually. The sheriff's office said accommodating the new requirement would mean an additional 37,926 bed days or 114 beds. At a minimum, the sheriff's office estimates, the increased number of inmates would require the county to hire 12 additional deputies and another nurse and to pay for additional food and other operating costs.
Another concern with Proposition 102 is that those defendants who cannot afford to post a bond may stay in jail longer than those who can afford to bond out.
Proposition 102 offers a blanket solution on a statewide basis when programs, such as in Larimer County, may be cost effective and efficient. This is an issue much more appropriately decided by local voters than a statewide ballot initiative.
Vote no on Proposition 102.


gregory said...

I have not had the opportunity to review Proposition 102, however I do have knowledge of pretrial services. The primary element of pretrial services is punishment before conviction. What this article does not reveal is that many individuals are placed on ankle bracelets or location monitoring devices even global tracking, forced attend various classes, and forced to do various drug testing. In effect it is a form of probation or parole and it is punishment without conviction. In accordance to the U.S. Const. no person can be derived of life liberty or property without due process, and the presumption of innocence in the primary fundamental of the due process provisions of our constitutional.

The removal of bond agents and the institution of such a program is a direct attack against our constitutional rights which we are slowly losing.

The answer to this matter is thus every defendant has the right of bond and the right for said bond not to be excessive. Only under certain aspects of events can this right be subjected.

Research through the internet Americans see what pretrial services really is. Or criminal justice System and the incarceration of American citizens is becoming out of control.

Our systems and jails are over flowing, but look at what we arte allowing the politicians do. Jefferson County closed 96) six schools and denver county closed 8 but look at the new jail and court house.

There is something wrong with our elected officials.

san diego bail bonds said...

I agree with Gregory. Bond agents allow those who can't afford bail to at least have liberty before trial.

- Richard Struve