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|February 6, 2018 ||
Dear members and colleagues,
As I reflect on the past year since our last mid-winter conference, I am amazed at
the roller coaster of victories and defeats we have experienced. Never before has
our industry endured the challenges in which we do today. Never have we faced
such well funded, coordinated, and tenacious opponents as we do now. Never
could we even anticipate the scale in which we are experiencing these battles. We
do not just see these attack on one state but rather in every corner of the country,
in Congress, in the state houses, and in the courtrooms. It is no exaggeration
when I say that we are under a full-scale assault and our very livelihoods hang in
I ran for president because I saw that our association could be much more. I saw a
conglomeration of business people and everyday folks who contribute daily to the
safety of the public and the wheels of justice. I saw people who not only care
about their pocketbooks but who care about the people and neighborhoods which
make up this great nation. I saw men and women who serve their clients even
when those they serve are experiencing the most challenging time of their lives.
Some, proper consequence of poor choices, some innocent victims of the law, and
others perpetrators of the ill on society. However, all of them, American citizens
are guaranteed their day in court. I saw an industry which ensures that right while
still protecting the sanctity of societal justice. I saw those very men and women
come under unjust attacks from those who would risk the safety of law-abiding
citizens to champion imagined violations of the rights of criminal defendants
while seeking to violate those very rights themselves. I saw good people and a
good industry which has been an effective, efficient, and immensely contributing
partner to the criminal justice system since the foundation of our country have
been unjustly vilified by unscrupulous pretenders.
However, what pushed me into abandoning a successful T.V. career and
committing my personal wealth and resources to this fight was the fact that our
association was consistently on the sidelines in this massive battle. We are an
association full of amazing people and exceptional talent, but the PBUS was not a
leader and frequently looked at as a do-nothing association. I could not sit idly by
as good people came under attack for serving a good industry, and our association
Today that is no longer the case. The PBUS is not only involved in this fight, but
we are on the frontlines as a national leader on this issue. I delivered my bi-
annual president's report this week and was just amazed at all that we
accomplished in the last six months, especially considering the monumental odds against us. My
heart fills with pride and affection as I recount the tireless work, unselfish distribution of
resources, and courageous advocacy by so many over the past two years.
However, as many as having engaged there are still many more sitting to the side and so is life.
The purpose of an association is to advocate, communicate, and work on your behalf. Your job is
to show up, offer what you are willing, and to elect proper leadership. There has never been a
more pivotal time in the history of our industry and never a more important conference for our
association. Your attendance is necessary as we will be outlining winning strategies which will
help prepare your state for the expected fight to come and your vote is paramount to the future of
this association and our industry. Your choice is clear. Continue to advance this association into a
national leader and double or triple our work and influence over the next two years, or revert to a
stale and inconsequential group of good people who put on good conferences.
I am who I am today because of this industry and because of so many of you. I feel that I still
owe a massive debt and I am not going to give up on the PBUS and the bail industry. There is
still more work ahead and now it is more important than ever. As a small taste of the immediate
tasks and what we are facing I am submitting a section of my president's report below to
highlight the immediacy of our cause and the necessity of strong, prepared leadership.
Preparing for 2018 Legislative Sessions: 1. Monitoring all introduced bills and projected
legislative actions. A. Harris County Texas - Expecting a ruling from the U.S. District Court on
the lawsuit in the first week of February. 1. Does not look good but FTA’s approaching 43%
since the court release all misdemeanor defendants. Unfortunately, this may set a terrible legal
precedence which we will have to clean up in other district courts. B. New Mexico - Governor
Martinez and legislators are seeking to overturn the Supreme Court rules implementing non-
monetary release. C. Florida - I arranged testimony from Miss June Rogers during a hearing
about their bail reform. The testimony was outstanding and may have swayed them against
pursuing the reform. D. Massachusetts - Attacked by litigation, am monitoring developments. E.
Hawaii - January 29th, the Senate committee heard arguments on SB2660, which I provided
written and verbal testimony. The Senate killed the measure at least until the Pre-Trial Taskforce
releases their report on the issue. We are fighting the ACLU who is attempting to shove the
package through without the facts in place. F. Michigan - Provided opposition package for their
upcoming strategy session lead by Executive Vice-President Jeff Kirkpatrick. Michigan is in
great hands, but I will be working closely with Jeff and others to ensure their success. G. Ohio -
Provided opposition package for Mary Smith who is spearheading the fight in Ohio. I am in
constant contact with Mary and am ready to lend any support and assistance she needs. H.
Virginia - Very well organized state association who is fighting a bail reform bill, and seeking to
pass a state version of our Congressional HR2152. Will be ready to provide any assistance to the
fight there. I. Colorado - Monitoring the situation in Mesa County and will be providing
opposition to HB18 when appropriate. 2. Confirming the current list of opposition groups we
have recruited in opposition to bail reform, including the following: Congress on Racial Equality
(CORE), BOND and Reverend Jesse Lee Paterson, June Rogers (mother of slain Christian Rogers), New Jersey Assemblyman Andrzejczak, Assemblyman Bruce Land, Senator Jeff Van
Drew, California District Attorneys Association, Alliance of California Judges, and the Judicial
Council of California. Victim R
ight Organizations Including KlassKids Foundation, Crime
Victims United of California. 3. Continuing recruitment for more groups to join the opposition.
4. Profiling legislative members to assist in lobbying effort. A. Profiles include all contact
information and biography of members. B. Public information and voting record to determine
political and policy leanings. C. Anticipated individualized talking points to communicate the
issue to specific members. 5. Combining all opposition research, arguments, talking points, and
evidence. A. Developing opposition package and template for state associations to mimic in
lobbying efforts. B. Creating lobby strategies to assist states with specific needs. C. Maintaining
databases and infrastructure for voter outreach and grassroots campaigns. D. Continuing media
and public relations blitzes to maximize public exposure to the issue. E. Maintaining my massive
fundraising campaigns to further the effectiveness of the PBUS’s activities.
I am urging you to attend the mid-winter conference titled "Road to Victory," and I humbly ask
for your vote for me and my slate of candidates. We are ready to serve and hungry for victory.
Now is your opportunity. Your trust in our plan will be rewarded with strong, effective, and
courageous leadership prepared to take on the challenge and with a tremendous track record of
I look forward to seeing you all soon.
The Christian Post
The justice system faces several tough challenges and one of them is: how to ensure that defendants appear in court while allowing them to continue with their lives in the meantime. The answer is the bail bond system. It works by creating an incentive for private agents to capture defendants who try to avoid trial. Most Americans will never be arrested. For those who are, unconditional release on one's own recognizance sometimes is appropriate. But not for those accused of committing the worst crimes.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii was due to publicly release a report on what it says is an unequal bail system in Hawaii courts one day after a state Senate committee effectively killed for this year an ACLU-supported bail reform proposal.
By now, the narrative surrounding state criminal justice reform is pretty familiar: A surprising coalition of conservatives and liberals, concerned respectively about the fiscal and social costs of mass incarceration, decides it's time to move away from the "tough on crime" policies of the 1990s. They reduce some nonviolent crimes to misdemeanors, offer new alternatives to harsh sentencing and offer more rehabilitation and job training to help ex-offenders keep from committing new crimes.
The issue of bail reform appears to be dead in the state Legislature this year, despite a recent report that found Hawaii's bail amounts are set unfairly high.
The House Committee on Public Safety deferred action on House Bill 2221 for a year, pending a report by a task force created last year by the Legislature to examine pretrial practices and procedures in regard to criminal defendants.
American Bail Coalition
Recently, the New Mexico Senate Rules Committee considered SJM 13, "Supreme Court—Rescind Bail Rules," which is an edict from the New Mexico legislature demanding that the Court repeal the existing rules and instead implement the will of the legislature and the voters.
Senators on both sides of the aisle, including the measure's sponsor, retired magistrate and attorney Senator Richard Martinez supported the legislation.
The Associated Perss via The Christian Science Monitor
The centuries-old process of releasing defendants on bail, long the province of judicial discretion, is getting a major assist ... courtesy of artificial intelligence.
In late August, Hercules Shepherd Jr. walked up to the stand in a Cleveland courtroom, dressed in an orange jumpsuit. Two nights earlier, an officer had arrested him at a traffic stop with a small bag of cocaine, and he was about to be arraigned.
The New York Times
Advocacy around criminal justice reform in recent years has been increasingly fierce and successful. According to the latest government data, in 2016, the number of prisoners in state and federal correctional facilities fell for the third consecutive year. A movement to end or drastically curtail cash bail, and thus reduce the number of people held in pretrial detention for their inability to pay it, has swept across the country.
President of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS), Beth Chapman, Responds to ACLU Release of Anticipated "Pre-trial Report:"
"I want to applaud the decision by the Senate public safety Committee on governmental and military affairs in holding SB2860 until the Pre-trial Taskforce can complete their work and present a complete report to the legislature."
Like the clairvoyants in the film "Minority Report," computer-generated risk assessment algorithms aim to predict the likelihood that someone will commit crime in the future.
These risk assessment tools are used to determine whether someone awaits trial in jail or goes home, what their sentence will be, and whether or not parole is granted, among other decisions.
The Dallas Morning News
As a detective for the Dallas Police Department, I took an oath to protect my fellow citizens for more than 30 years. Though retired, I still take that oath very seriously, which is why I know firsthand that so-called "bail reform" initiatives put the lives of Texans at risk. We cannot let Dallas fall into the trap.
Bail reform advocates have their sights set on overhauling Dallas' bail system, signifying a dangerous shift in policy that favors criminals and ignores victims.
Houston Public Media
Last June, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal ordered most indigent misdemeanor defendants who are denied personal bonds to be released from jail on unsecured bonds within 24 hours. Harris County has spent more than $5 million appealing a federal lawsuit challenging its bail system. Another bail reform effort is underway in Dallas.
Cynthia Cole with the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice said Sandra Bland didn't have $500 for her bond.
The Frederick News-Post
Gamal Amer Sheriff appears on a screen in the corner of a Frederick County district courtroom. The 33-year-old Frederick resident is dressed in orange and white as he joins a hearing in which Judge Frederick Bower reviews the denial of bail order Sheriff had received after his arrest.
Bower listens as an assistant Frederick County state's attorney reads the assault and reckless endangerment charges filed against Sheriff.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia City Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution calling on the city's District Attorney and Pennsylvania officials to end the practice of using money bail as a means of pre-trial detainment.
In a speech two days before the vote, Councilman Curtis Jones framed bail as a medieval tool that still lived inside the city's modern criminal justice system.
Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill that places the state among a small group that has moved away from cash bail.
"You have poor people who pose no risk of flight or no risk to the community incarcerated on a full-time basis before trial," says Delaware state Sen. Bryan Townsend, a co-sponsor of the bill. "That’s not at all what the criminal justice system is supposed to be about."
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