Calabasas, California (PRWEB) April 26, 2013
This past Friday, the Pomona Chamber of Commerce held a first of its kind luncheon and panel discussion amongst community leaders and criminal justice experts. The overall theme of the discussion was around public safety and the negative impact that California’s controversial Assembly Bill 109 (Public Safety Realignment) has had on public safety and our communities. The panel of experts included the following individuals:
One of the most interesting presentations was given by the representative of the commercial bail bond industry, Eric Granof. Mr. Granof talked about the unforeseen impact that AB109 was having on the pretrial populations within the jails. According to Granof, “This historic influx of state prisoners that are being sent to the county jails has triggered a dangerous and potentially costly increase in pretrial defendants being released on their own recognizance and through taxpayer funded pretrial services programs.”
"This increase," states Granof, “is not only potentially costing the county more money, but also decreasing the level of public safety in our communities…two issues that concern each and every one of us.”
It was at this point that Mr. Granof explained the overall role and effectiveness of the commercial bail bond industry as it relates to pretrial release, cost savings and public safety. By financially securing the release of a defendant with a commercial bail bond, the bail industry is guaranteeing the appearance of that person in court. If they don’t show, then the bail agent and in turn the family of the defendant, is responsible for the full amount of the bond. According to Granof, “This financial incentive or “skin in the game” concept is what makes the commercial bail industry so effective. When people have something on the line, especially something financial, research shows that they perform. And in the case of commercial bail, that means they show up for court. They show up more often than other forms of release, and while they are out they typically stay out of trouble in the process.” Mr. Granof also went on to explain that the commercial bail industry operates at no cost to the taxpayer or the county. In fact, he even pointed out that the commercial bail bond industry pays millions of dollars in premium tax to the state each and every year.
The panel discussion ended with several questions from the audience and a final closing statement from the Executive Director of the Chamber, Frank Garcia. In summary, the general feeling by most attending the event was that the current solution that AB109 is providing is not acceptable when it comes to public safety. A solution is needed at all levels of the system…a solution that takes public safety into account first and foremost, and that ensures the proper amount of supervision and accountability for those that are released (whether that release is post-conviction or pretrial). Read an article on the event here: The Bail Bond Industry Participates in Important AB109 Discussion in Pomona, California