Two California legislators from the Van Nuys and Oakland districts are about to introduce to bills, one Senate Bill 10 and the other Assembly Bill 42, both of which are presumably to address the issue of the poor being “punished for being poor.” The bills address the state's bail bond industry that has become a very large employer of Californians. What is being proposed is a complete disposal of the entire bail bond mechanism in these areas to be replaced with a “best behavior” type system of reward that is ridiculous both on its face and in theory.
The bills seek to replace the current bail bonds system which at present works hand-in-hand with the California court network and helps to prevent criminals at large who have failed to show for their scheduled court appearances from continuing to walk the streets free and clear of any punishment. When a person is charged and released on their own recognizance, they are given a sentencing date which will be used to determine what the punishment for their crimes will be. Criminals are typically released on their own recognizance when they are recognized by the judge in the case as being, a) not a flight risk (will not flee the state or the country to avoid prosecution) and b) a non-dangerous criminal.
California is currently embroiled in a financial crisis that threatens to shut down many of the generous social service programs that inundate the Socialist welfare-rich state environment. With more than 5% of their budget being pushed toward illegal aliens alone, the state cannot afford the programs that actually were put in place that keep the citizenry safe from harm, like the current prison and bail bonds system. This upside-down priorities-way of looking at state budgetary issues has forced California legislators into a dangerous corner where they must decide between the gold coin and the life of the child. In these new bills about to be introduced, the gold coin is the higher priority.
In a new robo call delivered to roughly 800,000 phone lines, Chapman advises Californians to urge their local lawmakers to vote no on identical proposals — Senate Bill 10, by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and Assembly Bill 42 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, that could be up for floor votes next week.
The bills, as written, would replace county bail schedules with a safety and flight-risk assessment of pre-trial offenders, overhauling a system which the authors say “punishes the poor for being poor.” Courts would use bail only as a last resort so that those who can’t afford to pay a nonrefundable, 10 percent fee to a bail agent — $5,000, on average — don’t remain behind bars for that reason alone.
The prison system is way too expensive to maintain because of the amount of gang-related violence and criminal activity due to a lack of spending on police departments and law enforcement equipment and logistics. This penny-pinching in law enforcement in favor of social spending on illegals, refugees, welfare, healthcare, green initiatives and environmental concerns, and gender/ethnic studies has led to proposed cuts in prisons. Therefore, criminals will now be released to the wild “on their own recognizance” whether they have committed violent crimes or not. Sex offenders and other violent offenders, as well as car thieves and armed robbers could very well qualify to be released until the sentencing phase without bail. That means that they are being asked to return at a later date and if they do not show, skip bail, nothing will compel bounty hunters to go out and apprehend them. No bounty, no hunter.
Additionally, the judgment of whether or not said charged will be incarcerated or released will depend upon how the judge in the case “feels” toward the criminal. If he/she feels that the criminal is not a “likely” repeat offender and is not a danger to others, then he/she will release them to the streets without bail and without a threat of being scooped up in a bounty dragnet.
Dog the Bounty Hunter appeared in a public hearing to testify on behalf of law enforcement and the bail bonds industry to warn officials of the dire consequences that could be associated with these actions.
“You, the taxpayer, will pay to release these criminals,” he warns. “Car thieves, burglars, sexual predators and repeat offenders will get out of jail with little accountability, and we will not be able to go after them when they run.”
There is one more huge negative to consider for these bills impact on the state and that is the enormously burdensome cost.
New details emerge about the enormous financial and judicial cost for the proposed reform of California’s bail system. Assembly Bill 42 and Senate Bill 10 would end the use of money bail schedules. Instead, they would allow state judges to decide if someone should be released on their own recognizance or kept behind bars because they are too dangerous to be set free.
Analysis from the State Assembly Appropriations Committee concludes California would have to spend “hundreds of millions of dollars” to reimburse counties for establishing and administering a new pretrial service. The state would also face ongoing expenses in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for court-appointment lawyers for defendants. The Assembly also noted costs for future oversight of the new bail system and for helping counties develop a “risk assessment” tool in carrying out the new rules.
In addition to costing California taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, the bills would put thousands of people in the state out of a job. All-Pro Bail Bonds owner, Steffan Gibbs, says the legislation would end the careers of more than 170 employees at his company. “These are hard-working Californians, who consider this a career. Where will they get work? How will they support their families?”, states Gibbs.
The bills' suggested new guidelines are so onerous that even judges are not happy with the legislation; a group called the Alliance of California Judges (more than 500 active and retired judges who are members) has signed a cooperative letter to announce their dissatisfaction.
So, while the bills may help with the budgetary ills of the state, it is most probably more prudent to begin cutting social programs for people who are not even citizens of the country before handing ammunition out to the gun-toting criminals and telling them to “Have at it!”