PBUS News Update
Mar. 28, 2014

Message from the President
Scott G. Hall

Believe it or not, it is only 107 days before the PBUS mid-year meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville!

We are teaming up with the Tennessee Bail Agents’ Association at this year's meeting so their members can learn more about our national association while combining our forces in strengthening and promoting our industry.

The Gaylord Opryland Resort features spectacular atrium views, modern amenities, premier dining options, spa treatments, world-class fitness facility and over 600,000 square feet of meeting space! And of course, there is a lot to do and see in Nashville, including the Grand Ole Opry!

The PBUS committees are hard at work planning the conference schedule and activities. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to network and socialize with fellow bail agents from across the country.

A tentative conference agenda will be forthcoming within the next few weeks. Please remember to make your reservations using the passkey link below. The conference code is PBA for those wishing to call the hotel directly.

Click here to make your hotel reservation!


Florida bail bond company lobbies for tax break
Orlando Sentinel
With the help of an Orlando lawmaker, a local bail bonds company is lobbying the Florida Legislature for a new tax break. The company, Accredited Surety and Casualty Company Inc. of Orlando, wants lawmakers to slash the effective tax rate that it and other bail underwriters pay in Florida insurance-premium taxes from more than 20 percent to less than 2 percent. More

Lost in jail, defendants wait weeks for chance at freedom
The Baltimore Sun
Shykill Brewer was arrested on a misdemeanor gun charge days before Christmas. Brewer should have been able to post bail in plenty of time to celebrate with his infant son and the rest of his family, but instead spent six weeks in jail. More

US imprisonment rates continue to drop amid falling crime rates
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Over the past five years, imprisonment rates fell in 31 states. California — which was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce its prison population — led the way with a 26 percent drop, though many state inmates are now held in local facilities. More

States look at data sharing to reduce recidivism
Government Technology
As states look for new ways to save money through data sharing and analytics, prison costs have come into focus. The National Governors Association announced on Feb. 20 the selection of three states — Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee — that will receive grants to participate in a program targeted at justice information sharing that could lead to cost savings. More

To fight crime in your community, stop using cash
The Washington Post
A new study has found that paying welfare benefits via debit card, rather than cash, caused a 10 percent drop in crime. Researchers have long noted that cash plays a critical role in street crime, due to its liquidity and it leaves no paper trail. More

How Twitter could help police departments predict crime
The Atlantic
Initially, Matthew Gerber didn't believe Twitter could help predict where crimes might occur. For one thing, Twitter's 140-character limit leads to slang and abbreviations and neologisms that are hard to analyze from a linguistic perspective. Beyond that, while criminals occasionally taunt law enforcement via Twitter, few are dumb or bold enough to tweet their plans ahead of time. "My hypothesis was there was nothing there," says Gerber.More

Are free speech and public safety at odds in the Internet age?
By Liz Murphy
The rapid pace at which technology is evolving is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Social platforms connect people in real-time around the world on our computers, while cellphones and "smart" watches function seamlessly as phones, fitness devices and music players. But with every device or piece of social technology we create, we are continually reminded that our ability to innovate often outpaces our ability to create laws that protect public safety — often with tragic consequences. In the cases of cyberbullying and revenge porn, is it possible to prioritize free speech and public safety equally in the Internet age?More