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Message from the President Beth Chapman

from PBUS

Bail Agents' Grassroots Advocacy Efforts Effective in New York State

The Professional Bail Agents of the United States commends the New York State Bail Bond Association for their efforts to raise awareness of the good bond agents do for our communities, including the state of New York.

"PBUS applauds the dedication of the New York State Bail Bond Association, especially Michelle Esquenazi, President, and Steven Zalewski, Vice President as leaders, for serving as champions for bail agents across the country," said Beth Chapman, President of PBUS. "Michelle and Steven traveled across the state at their own expense to attend legislative sessions and speak at public meetings to raise awareness about all the good bail agents do for their clients and communities."

Esquenazi, also the Senior Vice President of PBUS and Zalewski, mobilized the grassroots efforts to share the story of the good work bondsmen do to keep communities safe and help clients stay out of jail before trial. Their efforts helped legislators on both sides of the aisle, craft commonsense bills that supported the bail bond industry.

"We want safe communities, safe kids," Esquenazi said when asked about her advocacy efforts. "Bondsmen work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to help our clients, not just during bail hearings. We take phone calls at all hours of the night to answer the questions of our clients and their family members. At the end of the day the bail agents of New York save our state almost $300 Million, simply by being there for our clients," Esquenazi said.

"The New York State Bail Bond Association has done an outstanding job to educate the public," Chapman said. "PBUS is a vibrant organization, 15,000 members strong. Our members across the nation are organizing their states, and I pledge that our organization will provide them the support they need to educate and advocate for the bail bond industry."

Chapman released the following statement regarding bail reform efforts in New York:

"As New York considers implementing bail reform statewide, its citizens need to realistically consider the impact that will have on public safety and the states already overburdened budget as well as thinking through whether it will actually end up hurting the people that it seems designed to help.

"In its attempt to placate the various special interest groups that have been banging the drum of so-called 'criminal justice reform' the New York State legislature appears to not be rushing into the same mistake that states like New Jersey have made. If Gov. Cuomo and the lawmakers in Albany are hell-bent on taking such an extremist position as ending the existing bail system as we know it, they at least owe it to the citizens of New York to provide some factual basis for their decision in the legislature.

"These claims are made without any citation to a study that has been done to justify the 'present need.' There's no reference to the numbers of defendants or crime victims that the legislation will impact. There is no mention made all of the cost of this bill to the taxpayer.

"The experience of other states that have implemented bail reform provides clear examples of the criminal chaos and economic disaster of shifting the costs from the defendants to the taxpayer and removing a key element of responsibility from the criminal justice system.

"With no cost analysis included in the bill, taxpayers quite literally have no idea what this experiment is going to cost them. However, we can make some estimates." more

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