PBUS News Update
Jun. 20, 2013

Early Bird rate for 2013 PBUS Mid-Year Meeting ends tomorrow!
There will be a special session on marketing your business that will be on Monday and repeated on Tuesday. Hear how agents from the East Coast to the West Coast are successfully marketing their business. You can use that information and those tips as soon as you get back home. More

Delaware: Bail reform plan seeks to standardize fees
The News Journal via Delaware Online
Testifying at a legislative hearing, Magistrate James Tull complained that when setting bail he never knows how much it will cost the defendant to buy his freedom until trial. That's because some bail companies charge defendants as little as 3 percent up front, and as little as 5 percent total to post secured bond. While most charge 10 percent up front, the difference can be substantial.More

Bounty hunters have a dangerous job that offers a new experience each time
Bounty hunting often brings the wild west to mind, but in this day and age, finding people who've skipped out on paying their bail is just as prevalent. On this particular evening, Washington Special Service Agents Sam Hansen and Mike Ruchert are looking for Dustin Billings. Billings didn't show up for court after being charged with assault domestic violence and driving with a suspended license. They've been tipped off that he's at his mother's house. More

Bill gives judges discretion when sentencing domestic violence survivors
The Legislative Gazette
Advocates for women in prison are pushing for passage of a bill that would allow judges to use their discretion when sentencing survivors of domestic violence for crimes they commit as a result of their abuse. It would also allow domestic violence survivors convicted of crimes directly related to the abuse they suffered to shorter prison terms or community-based alternative-to-incarceration programs, and would allow currently incarcerated survivors to apply to the courts to be resentenced and to come home earlier.More

A dark period in the history of American prisons
The Atlantic
Lawsuits and Justice Department investigations have uncovered grotesque abuses of mentally ill inmates at state and local prisons. In our zeal to dehumanize criminals we have allowed our prisons to become medieval places of unspeakable cruelty so far beyond constitutional norms that they are barely recognizable.More

US government looks to trim massive penal code
A congressional task force has started work to review the massive U.S. federal penal code and cull statutes deemed to be overlapping, ineffective or otherwise unnecessary. In recent years, some efforts to look at ways to tame the penal code and rein in the country's record-high prison population have been scuppered by political wrangling. More

A conservative case for prison reform
The New York Times
Conservatives should recognize that the entire criminal justice system is another government spending program fraught with the issues that plague all government programs. Criminal justice should be subject to the same level of skepticism and scrutiny that we apply to any other government program. More

New York Senate passes bill to make electronic monitor tampering a crime
The Post-Standard
Legislation that would make tampering with an electronic monitoring bracelet a felony has passed in the New York Senate. Under current law, tampering can be a violation of parole or pre-sentence release, but it is not a separate crime.More