Bail Matters

Preserve Justice

HR 1249 and HR 2152, will put your safety at risk!

HR 1249, introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) incentivizes states to eliminate the use of bail in their state and local corrections programs. It uses federal money to “encourage” states to eliminate judicial discretion, taking away a judge’s ability to hold a suspect on bail. HR 1249 bribes states to replace their current bail programs with government-run pre-trial release programs, which are sophisticated catch & release programs that are not accountable, are risky, and much less effective.

Background: Communities across America use federal tax dollars (DOJ Byrne JAG grants) to pay for their Pre-Trial Release (PTR) programs -- sophisticated catch and release programs that allow an accused suspect to be released with just a signature and a promise to return to court for trial. These programs operate without adequate oversight. As a result, repeat and violent offenders are too easily released back on the streets, often committing heinous crimes. PTR programs have been criticized as “taxpayer funded bail programs” or “cashless bail.”

Unlike commercial bail, these PTR programs have no recourse when the accused defendant fails to appear for trial (roughly 30%-50% of the time). Consequently, these programs become taxpayer funded revolving door programs that facilitate injustice and increased crime.

Now, some in Congress want to eliminate bail and replace it with these failed, Pre-Trial Release programs.

Why this matters: This extreme, dangerous legislation would result in:

  • Higher failure to appear rates
  • More fugitives on the streets
  • More crime
  • More victims
  • Less Justice
  • Greater risk to you and your family

Call your Member of Congress and tell them to Vote NO on HR 1249 and HR 2152.

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Bail Bonds Facts
The only purpose of bail (any type – Release on own recognizance (ROR), signature, financial, pretrial agency, etc.) is to ensure the defendant appears for every required court date.
Bail does not guarantee public safety. The only way to guarantee public safety is incarceration. No conditions of release will prevent additional crimes or victims.
Appearance is essential to the courts, defendants and victims.
Surety bail is the most accountable form of release because it engages loved ones in a collaborative effort to create accountability and ensure the success of the defendant. If a defendant fails to appear, there is a tremendous financial penalty if the defendant is not apprehended and returned to the jurisdiction.
Surety bail does not cost taxpayers any money and saves jail bed costs.
Judicial discretion regarding bail is vital. A local, experienced judge can make the best decisions with input from the prosecutor, defense, and victim.