You may know someone named Gloria Mitchell, there are quite a few. One is a famous performance and crisis coach who went from sleeping in a Walmart dressing room to coaching millionaires.
This piece is not about that Gloria Mitchell, but you can read about her HERE if you're interested. The Gloria Mitchell at the center of this piece is a bail bond agent in Pomona, California.
You may be asking yourself what the big deal is about bail bonds and that's a reasonable question. If you can afford the bail.
If you can't afford the bail, you will sit in jail until your trial. In other words you will suffer the same fate as someone who was tried and convicted.
Only you weren't. You could be one of the many people wrongfully accused, have the charges dropped or determined to be not guilty.
If you couldn't afford the bail, you sat in jail. Even if you could have afforded the bail (usually 10% of the total bail amount), you would not be getting that money back, even if the charges are dropped.
So where does that money go? To Gloria Mitchell or one of 3,000 bail bond agents in America.
There are no private bail bondsmen in Illinois and few other states. The 10% goes directly to the court and is returned to all defendants in compliance with their court dates.
New York recently ended private bail bonding and Californians will vote on that in a referendum in the 2020 election. When Governor Jerry Brown signed a bail bond reform bill last year the bail bond industry launched a major fight to get it on the ballot to be voted on by all Californians.
Said Cesar McGuire of Bail Hotline Bail Bonds, In passing this misguided bill, the Legislature ignored not only public safety and justice, but a fundamental of the criminal justice system — defendants must appear at trial for justice to be served.
Washington, DC did away with private bail bonding in 1992 and has seen no increase in crime. The Bail Project, a non-profit organization that provides bail money to those who can't afford it, says that 96% of their clients make all their court dates, some spanning months and even years.
Meanwhile, some 450,000 defendants are sitting in jail, waiting for their court dates because they couldn't afford their bail. Some will plead guilty just to go home.
Gloria Mitchell says that 3,000 bail bond agents will lose their jobs if California does away with private bail. She says that people don't understand. According to Mitchell, They just think we're here for the money.
I can't think of one reason why anyone like Gloria Mitchell would do the job if not for the M-O-N-E-Y.
Putting all that aside, why should California or any other state guarantee Mitchell a lifetime job? Especially at a cost to those who can afford it the least.
No one guarantees jobs to GM workers, farmers or anyone else in America.
Things change, Gloria. Many once secure jobs have been made obsolete by the internet, automation, modernization, globalization and a host of other factors. Your fate will be no different than all those folks.
Even my job was outsourced to the internet and I thought I was indispensable.
For more on Gloria Mitchell and bail, click HERE.
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