Bail bonds have been in place for many years, and overall, they have been a positive aspect of the judicial system. Bail bonds in Angleton and across the states are beneficial for keeping those charged with a crime out of a jail cell before trial so they can work on their defense and benefit from the support of their legal team, friends and family. But like any government practice, bail bonds have pros and cons. That’s where bail reform comes into play.
What is bail reform?
You may or may not be familiar with this term, and some people may understand it especially well if they’ve been through the process of posting bail in the past. It’s important for everyone to know what bail reform entails, as it may affect your life, or the life of someone close to you, down the road.
Bail reform is a much-discussed topic among those who wish to change some of the legislature and policies surrounding current bail practices. These people believe that sometimes bail can be discriminatory, especially towards defendants of color, and those from a lower socioeconomic background than some of their peers.
For example, due to the open-ended interpretation of some laws, defendants with higher income might be able to avoid jail time before a trial—even if they are a flight risk—because they have a high income. This means that economic circumstances of defendants can sometimes override the law.
There are systems in place to prevent these prejudices, but when they fail, they can even impact the outcome of a defendant’s case. This is often because a person who is incarcerated cannot be as fully involved in their own defense: they cannot easily provide their defense team with information that could be important for the case, nor can they meet with potential witnesses. If they are denied bail, they also often face longer sentences.
Better off on the outside
A defendant who avoids jail also may have an easier time adjusting after the case because they do not have a jail record. Those who have been incarcerated often cope with emotional and mental struggles, inability to find or maintain a job, and while incarcerated, they may have a hard time gaining access to important healthcare benefits.
When properly implemented, bail bonds can be very helpful: they help those who face charges maintain their status of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ They also help limit overcrowding in prisons, and prevent defendants from spending far too much time in jail due to overloaded court schedules. When the system is abused, bail bonds can be too expensive for defendants to afford, and can lead to discrimination against people of certain backgrounds.
Bail reform is a complicated endeavor, but with the right support in place, defendants can benefit from a fair trial, and time out of jail to prepare for it.
If you face the possibility of a bail bond in Angleton, meet with a trustworthy bail bonds company that can help you with every step of the process to ensure a successful outcome for you and your loved ones.