PBUS News Update
Aug. 7, 2014

NJ Assembly passes bail overhaul
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The New Jersey Assembly passed an overhaul of the state's bail system, clearing the way for voters to decide on a constitutional change while also giving Gov. Chris Christie a bipartisan win. The bail changes, along with a plan to supply long-term funding to the state's depleted open space preservation program, won approval on the last day to put a question on the November ballot.More

Bail bondsmen seek answers for new fees
A tiff between the City Court administrator and a local bail bondsmen association has bail agents threatening to stop posting bonds and letting inmates stay locked up. It started with a $10 fee for all bonds posted for city inmates at the jail. Then it became a fee to use city computers for bail bondsmen to pull reports to submit to the state. Bondsmen said it’s not fair but administrators said there isn’t a problem. More

The history of bail in the United States
Politicker NJ
Bail reform is like road construction in Boston. It has been happening since at least 1625. Maybe that is why it has been so controversial to call the New Jersey State Legislature back to session on a Monday in August to put in on the November ballot. Bail is essentially monetary security (cash, a bond or property) that defendants must pay to the court in exchange for their release from jail. The money is returned if they appear for all of their required court appearances, with the goal of ensuring that defendants will return to court to participate in their trial.More

Delaware County inmates to be moved quickly to lessen jail overcrowding
The Star Press
With Delaware County spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to house inmates in jails in other counties, Sheriff Mike Scroggins said that he will transport inmates to the state corrections department more quickly and more often to savecosts. Scroggins told the county commissioners about his new plan to move even as few as a single inmate to the state Department of Correction rather than waiting to move several at a time.More

Dog the Bounty Hunter's wife fights NJ bail reform package
The Star-Ledger
There’s been a lot of stakeholders with a lot to say about bail reform. Gov. Chris Christie. The NAACP. The ACLU. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference. But none of them has their own reality show. Enter Beth Chapman - wife of Duane “Dog” Chapman, who is known for starring in the former reality show “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” Now Beth Chapman gets equal billing with her husband in their current reality show, “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt”More

High court ruling favors bail bondsmen
The CantonRep
Tony Sylvester stood in his office on a recent morning armed with two cellphones — one in the left hand, another in the right. Calls lit up the phones like pinball machines - pulsing rings and flashes of light. Sylvester’s bail bond services were in demand - people were calling him in an effort to spring a loved one from jail. With a recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling, Sylvester, owner of the Canton-based Sly Bail Bonds, said he now can help those folks if they can pay his fee and meet other conditions.More

Man flees fuel theft charge, arrested in Montana
Big Horn Radio Network
A fugitive Billings man charged for his involvement in a Powell fuel theft scam has been arrested in Montana. 27-year-old Jared Good was arrested in March for allegedly stealing just over $1,000 worth of fuel from MacIntosh Oil in Powell using pre-paid gift cards of low value. The automated pumps would put an initial charge of one dollar on the account to verify it was active and then turn on the pump, allowing thieves to dispense as much fuel as they wanted.More

Sentencing reforms cut prison crowding but shift burden
Argus Leader
Drug addicts, thieves and repeat drunken drivers don't go to prison in South Dakota anymore. Instead, they go to the county jail, then go on probation. Some go straight to treatment, spend time in drug or courts for driving under the influence, take daily sobriety tests or wear electronic monitoring bracelets. If they fail in those programs, they could get more jail time, and then more chances. Prison is a last resort, even for parolees who pick up new felony charges.More