Connecticut residents may be aware that bail reform is in full swing across the nation. The city has recently implemented a series of bail reforms that, in theory, would decrease the number of people who are placed behind bars because they cannot afford to make bail before trial. In fact, the Connecticut Bail Bonds Group help with domestic violence cases when the defendant or victim is detained and can not post bail.
The Bail reform advocates push the pretense that bail is unfair to poor people who are arrested for crimes they did not commit. This post will be examining the actual effects of these reforms on public safety, but first, some facts about Connecticut’s current bail system.
What You Can Expect When Arrested In Connecticut
When you are arrested in Connecticut, the first thing to do is booking. You will be transported to a nearby police station. You will be fingerprinted, searched, photographed, and then booked in when at the police station. Then you will be sent to a holding cell and wait for the bail bondsman to come and post your bond. They will have to first go before a judge to get approved for the bond.
Release From A Connecticut Jail
After the booking, the individual can be released from jail if legible and paid for the bond. In Connecticut, bonds are posted 24/7. However, some people may not be legible and can’t be released from jail before the case is resolved.
Financial ways that those arrested in Connecticut can be released from jail before their trial date include
- Surety Bond
This is when a bail bondsman pledges to pay a certain amount of money for the freedom of the arrested, the fee is usually a percentage of the bail, and it is designed to motivate the detained individual to show up for trial. However, the fee depends on the bondsman and the severity of the crime.
- Non-Surety Bond
This requires no money but obligates the accused to show up for trial. If the accused does not show up for their trial, they will be penalized for failing to appear.
- Cash-Only Bond
This requires the defendant to pay the entirety of the bail amount themselves. If they do so, then they will be free to go.
Currently, under Connecticut law, if a defendant posts a bond in full, they will be released. They will also get their money back after the case is resolved. However, most people fail to pay the full bail amount and are likely to use a bail bondsman to post bond, as it is less risky.
Reforms to the bail system have been made in Connecticut over the past few years. These reforms are designed to address problems with the current system, which tie up community resources to monitor people who have yet to receive a trial, leading to lengthy incarceration prior to trial. In addition, it is argued that these reforms will reduce incarceration time for those who are not a risk/flight risk, meaning that they will be unable to harm anyone else while awaiting trial. Here are the reforms:
Pre-Trial Bail System
It took effect on July 1. Adults arrested for committing misdemeanors and can’t afford cash bail are often held in jail for weeks and months, leading to more costs for the state. The system has also been discriminating against the people who committed the same crimes and can pay bail on time and walk away free. In fact, the individuals who can not pay bail are always at risk of losing their jobs or jobs while detained. This makes it very hard for them to find an income to pay bail, which they face if they are released ahead of the trial date. However, the Public Act 17-145 ends cash-only bail for some of the misdemeanors crimes. This has helped the state save more money.
However, an individual can still be detained if they are deemed a risk to the community. The legislation has only reduced the maximum time an individual can be detained in jail for misdemeanor crimes from 30 to 14 days.
Although there have been some improvements to the Connecticut bail system, it is still a system that relies on people being unable to pay bail for them to be released from jail. In addition to the need for bail, many individuals are detained in prison even when deemed not a risk or flight risk. The reforms have reduced this incidence of wrongful imprisonment and state expenses. Still, the factors that lead an individual from being able to post bond and be released before trial must also be addressed.
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