Hello, my name is Topo Padilla and I have been a licensed California bail bond
agent for over 37 years. I want to take a few minutes to tell you about Proposition 25
- I want to give you some insights I have about the bail industry, our criminal justice system and the fact that Proposition 25 would eliminate a person’s Constitutional Right to Bail.
- As a bail agent, I know how bail affects people that are arrested, the victims of crime and the positive impact it has on our Criminal Justice System operating efficiently.
- Eliminating the bail industry will leave the freedom of those arrested to a computer based algorithm that is said to do a risk assessment which will create a report for a judge to review and decide if the person will be released from jail or that the person will stay in jail.
- It is very important for everyone to understand that bail is recognized in the United States Constitution and the California Constitution.
HOW DID WE GET TO THIS POINT, WHERE SOME WANT TO ELIMINATE THE BAIL INDUSTRY?
- I want to briefly tell you how California specifically came to a point in wanting to eliminate the bail bond industry, which Proposition 25 will do.
- The main problem we have here in California is that the bail amounts are too high.
- Many people think the bail industry has something to do with the bail amounts and what it costs someone to bail out of jail, when in fact that is not the case.
- The bail industry does not set the bail schedules. The judges in each county set the bail amounts.
- So instead of advocating for the judges to lower the bail schedules, their solution is to go after the bail bond agents and just eliminate them.
- For years the bail industry has tried to get bail amounts in California lowered. We’ve worked hard to convince the legislature, judges and others in the criminal justice system that bail amounts were, in fact, too high and needed to be lowered.
- Unfortunately, our pleas to lower bail schedules did not work. some might question why we would want to be lowered, and we answer simply by saying bail amounts should not be used as a form of punishment, the bail amount should be based on public safety and ensuring that a person appears in court.
WHAT IS THEir ARGUMENT IN ELIMINATING THE BAIL INDUSTRY?
- They say people should not have to pay to get out of jail, that essentially the government should cover these costs.
- In the coming days, you will hear messages from those that want to eliminate our industry, because they say bail is too costly.
- First and again, we do not set the bail amounts, the judges do.
- Secondly, we only help those that cannot pay the full bond directly to the court by issuing an insurance policy guaranteeing they appear at all their court dates.
- Just like any auto insurance, or homeowners insurance, or life insurance, there is a premium to be paid for the policy.
- A bail bond insurance policy is exactly the same thing.
- The people that want to eliminate the bail industry use buzz words like “Money Bail,” because they know those words are key in getting support for their side of the argument.
- Using the words Money Bail is a trigger to get people to dislike our industry.
- Using the word Money Bail is like using the words….like Money Car Insurance, Money Lawyer, Money Car Dealer and/or Money Doctors. But they don’t, because their focus is the elimination of the bail industry.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF BAIL IS ELIMINATED?
- I will start by saying that people on both sides of the political aisle and many civic groups that once supported eliminating the bail industry and now encouraging people to Vote no on Proposition 25, and not eliminate the bail industry.
- If bail is eliminated, when a person is arrested, some will go through aninterview process, where they will be asked questions and some information will be gathered from historical data from the persons criminal history,
- This information will be processed through a computer system that will be said to use an algorithm which they say will be able to predict the likelihood of a person going to court and whether or not they will go out an commit a crime.
- A judge will then receive this report and make the decision of releasing a person or detaining them with no ability to bail themselves out of jail.
- At this time judges can use tools like house arrest, pre-conviction substance testing and or GPS tracking and monitoring, all of this prior to conviction!!!!
WHAT MAKES THE BAIL INDUSTRY SO EFFECTIVE IN MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE APPEAR IN COURT?
- As licensed bail bond agents, we have for decades underwritten and assessed what we believe it will take to best assure that a person will appear in court.
- The bail industry has an over 98% success rate in making sure people out on bail show up in court.
- And if someone misses court and we are unable to return them to court, we in the bail industry pay the court the full amount of the bail bond, and it is that incentive that creates a bond that helps guarantee the appearance of people in court giving public safety and all of those involved from victims of crime to those that are arrested a layer protection, that is a layer that is a Constitutional Right.
IN SUMMARY THE REASON THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BAIL SHOULD NOT BE ELIMINATED WHETHER YOU ARE ARRESTED, A VICTIM OF A CRIME OR SOMEONE THAT CARES ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY…..
- California cannot let them eliminate an industry that allows people to exercise their Constitutional Right to Bail, and that has served the Criminal Justice System for over a century in making sure people appear in court.
- The computer-based systems they want to replace the bail industry with will use risk assessment algorithms that are said to be racially biased and leave the sole decision of release up to a Judge.
- The cost to run these programs will be paid for by the taxpayers of California.
The bottom line is this. You have a choice to keep the bail industry that does the risk assessment independently at no cost, OR eliminate the bail industry in favor of an unproven computer-based algorithm that has been estimated to cost California taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. The bail industry, legislators on both sides of the political aisle and many civic groups are urging you to Vote NO on Proposition 25. Please do let them extinguish this constitutional right and create another government bureaucracy paid for by you the taxpayer. Please Vote No on Proposition 25. Thank you for taking the time to watch this video and make sure to have your voice heard, by making sure that you Vote!!