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Message from the President
Scott G. Hall

I want to thank everyone for making their hotel reservations before the guaranteed room rate expired and for registering for our 2014 Winter conference before the early-bird rate ended. I am happy to say that our attendance so far is extremely high and we look forward to registering more attendees on-site!

We are excited to bring you a talented group of speakers who will share valuable knowledge and information to continue to help you grow your business. All six (6) of the CBA classes and MCBA class will be offered at the conference and taught by leaders in the bail industry. And don’t miss the exciting Awards and Gala Celebration Dinner where we honor members of our profession for the outstanding work that they do! Our keynote speaker will be none other than the Honorable Greg Mathis, Judge, the popular syndicated television show arbiter!

Join us for this wonderful conference and network with fellow bail agents across the country. Remember, this is an election year! So if you are a voting member this is the time to cast your ballot for the next Board of Directors!

See you in Las Vegas!
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PBUS memories
By Michael J. Whitlock, MCBA
Like rings on a tree stump I can tell how old I am by the number of times I’ve attended the PBUS Winter Conference in Las Vegas. By my count I’ve attend the last 24 meetings consecutively and I believe the first meeting I attended was in 1986 at The Golden Nugget.

There was one meeting in particular that I enjoyed attending. It was 2006 when my father Jack Whitlock was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from then PBUS President Linda Braswell. My father started in retail bail in the late sixties and was one of the original founders of PBUS.

Jack was a retail bail agent, general agent, national general agent and the owner of American Surety Company with his longtime partner Bill Carmichael. He had quite a career and it was a great moment to see him recognized for his achievements. He did the unthinkable for a bail agent, he retired ten years ago and hasn’t looked back.

The bail bond business is uniquely generational. Bail agents live and breathe bail around the clock, at home, at the office and in the car. It’s no wonder daughters and sons like myself, wind up working in the bail bond business. Some heirs and heiresses can negotiate a bail bond by age ten.

During this 2006 meeting there a panel discussion was held at which the elder statesmen that included Jack were seated on one side of the stage and the and next generation that included myself were seated on the other side. It was kind of cool to be on the same stage with my father answering questions about the state of our profession at that time. At that point I had been in bail for twenty years but I was still learning from him.

Jack would always tell me, and still does “integrity is everything”. No one wants to do business with someone they can’t trust. This is particularly important when your retail customer base is comprised of people charged with committing crimes.

I have a number of fond memories from the PBUS meetings I’ve attended through the years. The best recollections are about the people I’ve met. It’s refreshing to be in a job that provides an opportunity to meet people from around the country.

I look forward to meeting new people at PBUS later this month.

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Bail bondsman may become an option in Indiana
Thirty-four Indiana counties currently do not allow surety bonds—like those provided by bondsmen. Supporters of S.B. 395 say it’s a matter of public safety. "It really should be in your best interest to someone who is living in the community to know that when someone is charged with a crime and they're released from jail pending trial that you would want to know someone is guaranteeing that they appear back to court," said Mike Whitlock with American Surety Company in Indianapolis.
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No link between California's prison realignment and increased crime
Despite being blamed by some members of law enforcement for a recent uptick in crime in some counties, there is no connection between California’s Prison Realignment and increased criminal activity, according to a recently released report.
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Overcrowding in Nebraska prisons prompts call for reform
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Supervised release programs are being considered in Nebraska now that the state's inmate population has reached a staggering level of capacity at 153 percent — nearly 4,900 inmates. "We have to provide community-corrections options for judges throughout the state," state Sen. Brad Ashford said. "That has to happen this year."
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Senate Judiciary Committee approves major drug sentencing reforms
By a vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Smarter Sentencing Act, which was introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, in July 2013. The Drug Policy Alliance calls it "the biggest overhaul in federal drug sentencing in decades."
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Missing Florida DUI manslaughter suspect and family found in Texas
Garrett Bruce was out on $100,000 bond and under monitoring by a bondsman by an ankle bracelet. Bruce, however, was able to remove the electronic monitoring device and escape. He was arrested without incident in Katy, Texas, deputies said.
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FBI reports increase of active shooter events, 2002-12
On April 20, 1999, two Columbine High School students killed twelve classmates and a teacher in Littleton, Colo. The shooters committed suicide before officers entered the school to intervene. Outrage on the part of the public and deep introspection by the police produced massive changes in law enforcement response to ongoing acts of violence.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Top judge points to power of bail bonds lobby in debate over reform (The Baltimore Sun)
2014 PBUS Winter Conference Registration (PBUS)
Aristotle and pretrial release (AIA)
The fallacy of gun buyback programs (POLICE Magazine)
In reversal, FBI now emphasizes role in law enforcement (The Cable)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


PBUS News Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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