PBUS News Update
Jun. 21, 2012

Prosecutors: Jail phone transcripts show Zimmerman, wife talking finances in code
VideoBriefDespite telling the court they were indigent, George Zimmerman and his wife discussed – in code, according to prosecutors – money raised online to help in his defense on second-degree murder charges, jailhouse phone calls released recently show. Prosecutors had claimed the Zimmermans lied about their financial means before a Florida judge set his bond, which the suspect then posted to get out of jail. Zimmerman, accused in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, is now back behind bars after the judge revoked his bail, citing the misrepresentations.More

New Jersey looks to restrict bail for violent offenders
Philadelphia Inquirer
One element of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's agenda seems to be sailing through with little controversy: a proposal to amend the state constitution so that judges can deny bail to violent offenders. Christie, a former federal prosecutor, wants to give New Jersey judges the ability to deny bail to a defendant who poses a danger to the community. Only New Jersey and New York state lack laws that allow judges to use a defendant's "dangerousness" as a factor when determining bail.More

Bail bonds proposal heads to the full House in North Carolina
The Charlotte Observer
A bill that would restrict government programs that allow some indigent defendants to be released from jail without posting a bond will now go to the full House for debate in North Carolina. A judiciary subcommittee approved Senate Bill 756, agreeing to impose changes on locally run pretrial release programs in 32 counties. Supporters of the bill say pretrial release programs essentially duplicate the services of the bail bonds industry, and that government should not interfere with private business.More

Louisiana governor signs bill allowing phone-in bail bond orders
for suspects' release

The Times-Picayune
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation granting Orleans Parish Criminal District Court judges the power to set their own rules for phoning in bond orders and inmate releases. The 12 district judges, along with Magistrate Judge Gerard Hansen and Criminal Court Clerk Arthur Morrell, pressed Jindal to back the legislation, House Bill 581, over the objections of District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.More

Alabama court, bond fees to increase
The Gadsden Times
Higher statewide court docket and bail bond fees go into effect, but Alabama's court system won't be out of the financial woods if a related constitutional amendment doesn't pass in September. A fee of $35 will be added to each bail bond. If a defendant is found guilty, additional fees will be added to the post-conviction bond.More

Prison realignment has California bail bondsmen posting fewer bails
VideoBriefBail bondsmen say they're being put out of work by California's prison realignment law. The state is sending more offenders to county jails instead of prison. Local bail bondsmen say they're writing fewer misdemeanor bails, because the county jail doesn't have room for those cases.More

Changes will allow flexibility in alternative sentencing in Georgia
The Marietta Daily Journal
Some Cobb, Ga., officials hope that changes to state law will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by keeping nonviolent criminals out of prison. House Bill 1176, which was passed and signed by Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this year, establishes standards for "accountability" courts, which put nonviolent criminals into rehabilitation programs.More

Texas grandma still playing the bail bonds game after 60 years
VideoBriefWhen you think of someone who owns a bail bonding company, you probably think about Dog the Bounty Hunter, not your grandmother. But Daisy Real is a real grandmother and a real bail bondswoman in Conroe, Texas. She has been in the game for 60 years.More

Deadbeat dad who fell for Aniston movie ruse gets jail, verbal spanking
The Morning Call
A deadbeat dad who was lured back to Pennsylvania from his safe haven in Hawaii by a ruse to act in a movie with Jennifer Aniston was ordered to jail and given a tongue-lashing by a judge. Joshua Garlathy, who failed to pay nearly $43,000 in child support for his now 19-year-old daughter, wound up behind bars on two warrants when the mother of his child — who for years has made it her mission to get Garlathy to pay — and a bounty hunter tricked him into coming back to Pennsylvania.More

Critics challenge Milwaukee sheriff on inmate monitoring change
The Journal Sentinel
The decision by Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. to virtually shut down an inmate electronic monitoring program prompted a heated exchange, with the county's chief judge saying the move artificially boosted the jail population. Meanwhile, several county supervisors and others blasted the sheriff's move. Clarke, who didn't attend a hearing on the subject by the County Board's Judiciary Committee, was faulted as shortsighted, petty and vindictive for curbing the jail alternative program.More

Early release plan affects few Arkansas inmates
The Associated Press via the Stuttgart Daily Leader
Arkansas prison officials say just a handful of inmates would qualify for release under a 2011 law that allows certain nonviolent offenders out of prison after 120 days if they wear electronic tracking devices. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the early release program has not yet been implemented after a state lawmaker questioned whether the state can legally require inmates to pay for their own electronic monitoring.More