Apr 9, 2017

CA Democrats pushing another change to release more arrested on streets and to kill more jobs at the same time

Senate Bill 10, pushed by state Democrats and ACLU and SEIU (only one Republican supporting) despite "The state does not have an estimate for how many would be released under the proposed system.

"Excerpt 1:

Over the strong objections of the bail industry, the Senate Public Safety Committee passed the sweeping proposal to replace county bail schedules with expanded "pretrial services" procedures to assess whether a defendant's release would pose a safety threat and to make sure they show up for their court dates."

According to the article, "On any given day, 46,000 Californians are behind bars in a county jail, awaiting trial or sentencing. Holding pretrial defendants in jail costs taxpayers over $100 daily, on average "

Excerpt 2:

The bail industry says the measure would put 1,600 people out of business. "We'll be ruined," said James Rudisill, who runs a bail bonds business in downtown Oakland.

Full article at :


Since AB 109, Prop 47 and 57 and probation assessments have worked so well, especially in Humboldt why not eliminate bail? Sometimes bail is unfair in some cases, but we already have arrest warrants out for people with bail, they need to think this through. Law enforcement does not need to chase down more arrest warrants for no shows, a daily and multiple occurrence in the local courts.


  1. John, I've followed this issue for some time and done research and it's going to go beyond one post, so with your indulgence, I'll post one, then another and number them.

  2. Last:
    From a factual point of view I had read this article when it came out because it raised a very pertinent issue. I'll provide the link, and then quote what caught my attention:
    "Testifying against the bill, Jeff Clayton with the American Bail Coalition said: “I’ve heard that concern, that the risk assessments are conservative and can paint people as riskier than perhaps a judge might think, and so it can backfire. We have to trust judges to try to get it right.”

    Judges already have the discretion to release pretrial detainees if they think do not pose a risk of flight or public safety.

    Clayton said the real problem is that the bail schedules, which are set by individual counties, are just too high.

    Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Los Angeles, asked Bonta whether he had looked at a single uniform bail schedule that might be more equitable.

    “We’re moving sort of beyond that. We’re not going to be having bail schedules. We’re moving in a place where the bail schedules will not be a problem because we won’t be using them at all,” Bonta said."

    If not have a standard schedule for bail throughout the State, then who knows what would be fair and how that might work? Rather than blaming bailbondsmen/women, why not look at the slap hazard way that the bail issue has been handled in the past and reform that? I don't have any sort of letters after my name to make me an expert on law but I'm also not someone either in or running for public office so I think my opinions are probably closer to what other people in the state think, and what is really the bottom line issue:
    Will this new program make me and those I care about any safer, and how does it guarantee that? Has this program been shown to work in states as large and diverse as California?
    And what I would really like to see is a list of all the actual on-the-AG's-list-of-charities that support the bill as well as a list of special-interest groups; groups formed for this one purpose; as well as those 'public' figures whose main agenda is keeping their name and face in the public eye. You know the ones: being famous isn't enough, they want to have everyone pay attention to their opinions because they are famous. Thank you Madonna, I really don't care what you think.

    But wait, it gets crazier. Back in New Jersey they're using algorithms to determine who has to post bail.
    "As part of a bold effort at bail reform, the state of New Jersey replaced bail hearings with algorithmically informed risk assessments this year. Anyone’s eligible for release, no money down, if they meet certain criteria. To ensure unbiased, scientific decisions, judges use a machine-generated score."
    Now doesn't THAT make you feel more secure? No? Me either, nor do a lot of people quoted in the article.

    So this is an issue across the country and it's not just ultra-liberal California leading the way to a kinder, gentler, more humane world.
    It feels like something else is going on here when CA and NJ agree on something...
    And what should be going on is the people (who will ultimately pay for all this lopsided thinking) need to start asking their legislators WTF?
    And get solid answers.

  3. First:
    I've read other sources on the problems inherent with 'no bail' situations. First of all, where will the money come from to pay for the people to assess the risks of releasing people without bail (since there is no comprehensive data base that can be used to find out what someone accused of a crime has done in the past or other items which could affect their behavior after their release.
    Ask DDAs how they feel about the 'no bail' project and listen to the groans. These are people who have dealt with people accused of crimes and often know more about the accused than make it to the actual charges.
    We have seen (those who pay attention to the rising crime and violence rates since the passage of the two laws which have allowed downgrading of charging, sentencing and early releases (include time credited for taking school courses).
    Yes, I've read some of the stories that the bail project people put forward about jobs lost, lives ruined, families splintered and those are sad. But what about the stories behind WHY people were arrested, stories about the people who were the victims whose lives will still be on hold?
    John, I've followed some of your coverage on some cases where the victims or witnesses seem to spend more time in court than the accused. They are waiting for justice while the accused are waiting for another free ride back to the streets.
    I imagine there are people who will call those who offer bail services as parasites but Bail is a long established part of the judicial system. The person/company who offers bail services is very much like someone who offers health or accident insurance. They are gambling (a friend who was an insurance underwriter called insurance 'legalized gambling' Said that 'you're gambling you won't need it, and if you do need it, what you paid has a much higher payback than any casino could offer'. Would that tv program about a bounty hunter with long blond hair be so popular if enough viewers didn't feel that someone who jumps bail deserves to be hunted down and made to pay?
    And if there was no bail bondsman who would pay to hunt down the criminal who fled? The police who have enough work of their own? The US Marshals only handle Federal crime, so no help there.

    But someone who has been arrested for a crime, what have they done that we should trust them...gamble on them, as it were...when they've already demonstrated that they have not obeyed the laws.
    The State of California, either through government run programs (Public defenders) or government funded private programs, already provides people charged with crimes with legal representation if it can be shown they can't pay for their own legal representation.
    So now elected officials think the State Government (who really has much better things to spend taxpayer moneys on) should essentially, go the bond and allow the accused to go free until their trial.
    And what happens when someone is released and they turn around and offend again, and it costs someone their life? Of course the legislators won't feel responsible, they'd set up the program with the best of intentions (etc)...and the program or person who said it was safe to release the person, won't they be held harmless as well because they were just doing what the program required?

    1. 1. Each local Court "Branch" gets the "Uniform Bail Schedule" from the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). http://www.courts.ca.gov

      2. There are extensive criminal information databases. CLETS and the NCIC are two examples.