The bail bond services industry comprises establishments that offer security bonds, which are backed through insurance firms. These insurance firms cover the risks associated with the granting of pre-trial release to defendants.
The concept of bail was brought into effect to encourage the defendant to appear for mandatory court appearances. There are many types of bail that may be granted by the court including: citation release, cash bond, recognizance, property bond, immigration bond, and surety (bail) bond.
In the case of bail bonds, a bonds agent guarantees payment on behalf of the defendant in the event they do not show up for their court appearance. If the defendant skips their court date, all money is forfeited to the court and must be re-paid in full. However, if all terms of bail are met, all money (minus the bond agent’s fee) is returned to the party.
The following are some statistics representative of the bail bond industry.
The bail bond industry has no dominant leader, but is rather composed of many smaller mom-and-pop businesses. From 2014 to 2019, the bail bond services industry has grown by less than 1%. In this same timeframe, the number of these types of businesses grew by less than 2% and the number of employees has grown by approximately 2.3%.
People who hire a bonds agent to post their bail are about 20% more likely to show up in court compared to people who were released on their own recognizance. From 1990 – 2004, about 30% of felony defendants were released on bond prior to case disposition, while about 32% were released on non-financial conditions. Only 6% were denied bail, while the remaining 32% were allowed bail, but did not post bond.
Crime Rates in the US
The reality is, the bail bond industry isn’t as profitable as it once was. In fact, reported violent crime has fallen 49% between 1993 and 2017, while property crime has fallen by 50% within the same timeframe. America saw around 10.55 million people arrested in 2017, which may seem like a high number, but is actually quite low compared to the arrest rate of the last 20 years.
The objective behind the offering of bail bonds is to help those who need it most. Bail bonds give defendants the opportunity to be released from jail and get back home as quickly as possible, while at the same time urging them to appear for any mandatory court appearances – not to take advantage of them.
States including Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Kentucky have banned the use of commercial bonds. However, some of these states have since experienced high recidivism and failure to appear rates under these new conditions, causing them to seriously contemplate reinstating the use of bail bonds. The fact is, the illegalization of bail bonds increases the chances of recidivism and conviction.
If you or a loved one find yourself in need of a bail bond agent, call Big Fish Bail Bonds, located in Wichita, Kansas. We serve Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Greenwood, and Elk counties. Bond services are available 24/7!
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