From lost jobs and greater dependence on government and taxes to getting shot in the face, bail reform is hurting Americans from coast to coast. The stories about bail reform have been so ugly to date that it’s hard to fathom why so many are still so much in favor. Here’s just three of the ways that bail reform is likely to hurt you (assuming you don’t like shooting people in the face).
1 – Lost Jobs
It goes without saying that those employed in the bail bonds industry, from administrative assistants to executives and bail agents, will lose their jobs if cash bail is eliminated. Proponents of reform argue that jobs will be gained elsewhere. While that’s true – pretrial assessments require quite a bit of personnel – those jobs are drawn from the government till, i.e. – taxpayers. So, if you pay taxes, and bail reform happens in your state, it’s very likely you’re going to be paying MORE taxes to accommodate those jobs bail “reformers” say will be gained. Taxpayers, of course, do not pay bail bondsmen and those who work in the industry.
2 – Face Shooting
In New Jersey, a woman accused of shooting another in the face (in front of eyewitnesses) was let out of jail without bail under the auspices of the states “forward-thinking” bail “reform” movement. And you know what they say – “once a face-shooter, always a face-shooter.” So if you live in New Jersey, it’s possible that bail reform will result in you getting shot in the face. That state relies on a pretrial algorithm to determine the likelihood that a defendant poses a risk to society or will not show up for their court date. The algorithm, in this case, apparently determined that the future risk of face-shooting was low in this case. But with face-shooting, it’s typically best (in my opinion) to err on the side of caution.
And let’s be clear – no one really wants that. I don’t have any personal experience with being shot in the face, but what I do know is that I’m going to try to avoid being shot in the face entirely. And not just now – I’m looking to avoid being shot in the face in the future too. Given this proclivity of mine to not be shot in the face, I may stay out of New Jersey altogether, since it now seems the odds of being shot in the face are significantly higher in New Jersey than they are elsewhere in the country (though other states appear to be following suit with bail reform and, presumably, face shooting).
So far, bail still exists in Maryland, but is being reduced dramatically. This makes Maryland a moderately dangerous place to live on the “face shooter scale.” This is currently an in-development measure that will take into account all known facts about a state’s population and criminal tendencies so that all Americans can travel throughout the country fully armed with knowledge about face-shooting and where face-shooting is more prevalent. Right now, Maryland is not a particularly safe non-face-shooting state, but if bail reform efforts are rolled back in the future, the “Old Line State” may be less susceptible to face shooting. Which is good for just about everyone.
3 – More in Jail
In Maryland, the data collected thus far clearly indicate that bail reform here at home has resulted in more people staying in jail. Maybe that’s what some people want, but the reality is that jail crowding is a real issue here and elsewhere in the U.S. if more people remain in jail, the crowding gets worse. But the bigger downside is the additional cost to the government (i.e. – you, who pay for the government). It costs a lot of money to house someone in jail for a day, not to mention a week, a month, or longer. As long as you’re OK with your tax bill going up (and, of course, the risk of being shot in the face), then bail reform is a great idea in Maryland.