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The Houston Police Officers Union recently issued a report addressing how misdemeanor bail reform was working in Harris County.  The report has some jaw dropping numbers:  76% failure to appear rate, 16% overall appearance rate, 72% of cases are dismissed and 176% growth in the backlog of cases over 10 years.Office Griffith discusses the report, the district attorney's report issues last year stating some of these same things and the monitor's report which is issued every 4 months and says that misdemeanor reforms are working.  Why are the numbers so different in the monitor's report?  Listen to learn more.
Shelly Alexander is the President of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents (TAPBA).  She  was the Office Manager and a Bail Bondsman for Danny Blankenship Bonding until his sudden passing in 2017. At that time Shelly opened A Close Bonding Co., LLC, which has 17 agents in West and Middle Tennessee serving 23 counties. Ms. Alexander has been a volunteer for the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents (TAPBA) for nine years and has served on the TAPBA Education Committee for eight years.  Ms. Alexander was born and raised in Reagan, TN. She currently resides in Lexington, TN. She is the mother to five (Jarrod, Jasmine,  Jordan, Alexis and Eli) of which two were adopted from the Department of Children Services in 2018 and have proven to be nothing less than amazing.  Jasmine and Jordan are both bail bondsmen. Also, Ms. Alexander is the proud MiMi of three grand girls and has a grandson on the way.Will Rainey is a member of the board of directors of TAPBA and is the legislative committee chair.  Will Rainey is originally from Forrest City, Arkansas.  After he graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis in 1996, he became a teacher and coach in the Memphis City Schools.  He was later a Service Team Leader at Schneider Freight Company before he began working for a bail bond company in Memphis, Tennessee in 1999.  In 2006, he opened United Bonding Company, Inc in Memphis, Tennessee.He later opened All About Bail Bonds, Inc., which does business in multiple counties in Western Tennessee.  He also owns Professional Bail Surety, Inc, a general insurance agency for Continental Heritage insurance company.  Mr. Rainey has enjoyed being active in youth sports and other community activities while raising his son. Join us as we discuss bail in Tennessee and the current Tennessee legislative session.
Topo Padilla is a second generation bondsmen from California.  On this episode of the Bail Post, Mr. Padilla discusses bail in California and other bail reform issues across the country.  Mr. Padilla is the newly elected President of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States.
While bail as a pretrial release mechanism has been around since our nation’s beginning and is protected in the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, its continued use in the present day has been questioned by critics of the historically-based pretrial release mechanism.In a recent study, David Krahl, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at The University of Tampa, found that in terms of sheer cost alone, the use of surety bonding costs Florida taxpayers absolutely nothing in terms of taxpayer dollars, while the use of other forms of unsecured pretrial release has cost more than $95 million dollars over a three-year period.Krahl’s research, using a random sample of over 9,300 detainees from jails across Florida during a one-year period, showed that 56 percent of defendants who had been arrested spent between one and three days in jail, while two-thirds of the sample spent between one and seven days in jail before they were released. The data also showed that defendants in unsecured pretrial release status spent statistically significant longer time in pretrial detention than did defendants released on a surety bond.“The notion that large numbers of defendants are languishing away in jail simply because they cannot afford the cost of a surety bond to secure their pretrial release is sheer fiction,” Krahl said. The average stay in jail prior to pretrial release was two days for the overall sample.  The most predictive factor in determining number of days of pretrial detention was the number of charges filed against a defendant.  No other factor was a predictive factor.
The Bail Post and the Houston Crime Stoppers join together to tell the stories of just some of the victims of Bad Bail Reform.  In this episode, we honor the heart breaking story of Rosalie Cook, an 80 year old grandma who went to Walgreens to buy a birthday card.  But she never got the birthday card because she was killed by a defendant who was 38 years old at the time.  He had been arrested over 70 times and convicted over 60 times.  He was released from jail on 2 felony PR (free) bonds.  He walked away from his half-way house and no one reported it to the court in the ensuing weeks.  He approached Ms. Cook in the parking lot of Walgreens attempting to rob her and steal her car.  He ended up killing Mr. Cook in the parking lot.We also honor Summer Chester who was a college student who was working her way through college when she was brutally run over as she was walking through an intersection by someone who should have never been released from jail in the first place.  The defendant had been arrested for capital murder for a home invasion where he killed the homeowner in his sleep and killed another person fleeing.  Instead, of denying bond as authorized by the Texas Constiution, the court set the defendant's bond at $250,000.00.  Then the defendant was accused of a new crime in the county jail and was charged with a new offense that was a felony.  Also, the defendant had over 90 pages of incidents documented while he was in jail.  When the defendant could not post a bond, the defendant asked the court to lower the bond and the trial court agreed to lower the bond to $50,000.00.  But for the trial court's actions Ms. Chester would be alive today.To learn more about Houston Crime Stoppers visit their website- https://crime-stoppers.org/.  You can also visit them on- Facebook-  https://www.facebook.com/CrimeStoppersOfHoustonTwitter- https://twitter.com/CrimeStopHOU
Kellye and Anthony Cooper are bondsmen in Mount Pleasant, Texas.  They talk about their bonding business and the ways that they keep up with defendants and how they help improve public safety.  Also, their son is a Marine.  When they became military parents, they began looking for ways to support their son.  Kellye created a nonprofit organization referred to as "M.O.M" (Ministering Our Military).   If you are interested in leaning more about this great cause you can visit the website for Mom at (https://www.momtx.org/) or by visiting their facebook page Ministering Our Military.On this episode, there is also a discussion regarding the allegation that bondsmen are the cause of crime increasing.  As Kellye says this is a hard argument to understand from the otherside because it flies in the face of logic.
We are hearing more and more about Bail Funds in the news and the stories are not positive.  Stories have highlighted instances of Charitable Bail Funds posting cash bonds for individuals with substantial criminal histories and then these same individuals go on to commit even more awful crimes upon release.Joining our discussion today are two guests:Eric GranofVice President, Corporate CommunicationsChief Marketing Officer – Expert Bail NetworkAIA SuretyMike WhitlockExecutive Vice PresidentAmerican Surety
On January 7, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issues an important new opinion in Cause No. 18-11368; Daves v. Dallas County; In the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (January 7, 2022).  This is a huge decision and reverses O'donnell on a key issue.  Listen to the podcast to find out more.You can download the opinion by CLICKING HERE.You can see PBT's blog post about the opinion by CLICKING HERE.
Everyone agrees crime is increasing in Harris County, but there is substantial disagreement over why.  Listen to a lively discussion with our guests:  City Councilman Michael Kubosh, Officer Douglas Griffith who is President of the Houston Police Officer's Association and Mario Garza, President of the Harris County Bondsmen Association.
The Bail Post highlights the articles in the  January 2022 Newsletter of the Professional Bondsmen of Texas.
Welcome to the first episode of a new podcast.  My name is Ken W. Good and I am an attorney in Texas specializing in Bail Law.  From California to New York there has been a push for what I think now we would call bad bail reform and even bad criminal justice reform.  As we have seen crime increasing over the last year, my hope is that we can find common ground by discussing what works and why certain reforms do not seem to work.  I hope that you will find this podcast informative and start discussions about these and other issues.  On today’s episode we will be talking to three bondsmen to find out what it is exactly that they do.
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