Out of sight, out of mind is the way most people handle the criminal justice system. For those that work in it, daily, the details very much matter. 

Industries that suffer from this type of armchair philosophy tend to be easily maligned. Insurance, tax law, bail bonds are all things people want to avoid dealing with but sometimes have to. 

When it comes to topics like bail reform in Nevada with measures such as AB325 currently in discussion most people don’t know where to start.

This guide will walk you through the problems with these proposed changes and how they impact you even if you never see the inside of a bail office.

Bail Reform in Nevada: Essential Updates

Bail reform acts come and go. Changes are proposed far more often than they are enacted. In the past few years, severe changes came down in California

Not surprisingly, other states are looking at this program and making decisions about what and how to reform their own cash bail systems. Programs from New Jersey and New Mexico have also been highlighted in new stories since 2009. 

Each of these programs issues a set of pro numbers while leaving out the negative consequences that the reform creates.

Proposed Changes

Bail largely deals with the pretrial period. The time it takes after an arrest to see a trail to determine guilt. During this lurch, suspects are still innocent until proven guilty. 

The state doesn’t want to house people during this time or have to deal with them, it is a burden. Bail is about creating a hook to get people to appear in court.

Reform programs give undue power to arraignment judges. This creates a bottleneck in the system that is increasing the time a suspect waits to get a pre-trial hearing.

Some portions of the proposal also look at releasing offenders on their own recognizance with no bond or surety at all. This has led to an increase in failures to appear in court.

Why Reform?

There is no longer a level field where bail is assigned based on the crime tied to the cost to society that reflects.

Instead, defendants have a risk factor assigned via an algorithm. Not surprisingly, this system is being referred to racism 2.0 as it disproportionately targets the disenfranchised racial groups the reform is meant to address!

Basically, the wealthy can pay cash bail or bond and go back to work while the poor wait for a pre-trial and lose jobs and means of support. Reform does nothing to change this, leaving the haves and have nots across an even greater divide.

Reformers point to a study showing that 40{2ee6b8d0b3a3c2cd27f975da52273189ab4b287f0123d142791a9ace77c63184} of offenders with trouble making bail commit another crime to pay for bonds. Numbers from the pilot program out of Reno from 2016 – 2017 show a 100{2ee6b8d0b3a3c2cd27f975da52273189ab4b287f0123d142791a9ace77c63184} increase in rearrests after defenders are released through reform program. 

Even by their own numbers, the reform process is creating 60{2ee6b8d0b3a3c2cd27f975da52273189ab4b287f0123d142791a9ace77c63184} more of a problem than leaving the situation as is.

Who is Affected?

The effects of bail reform can be felt by more than those in the criminal justice field. How bail is handled reflects how the wheels of justice turn. 

Restrictive bail conditions lead to more pretrial time and lost livelihoods. No bail conditions and open recognizance leave no accountability and weaken the courts.

Bail bond providers are often maligned in these discussions as fighting to restrict change. The reality is, bail bonds agencies exist to help these people.

Don’t Hesitate

Regardless of the changes that AB325 may eventually have and other bail reform in Nevada, bail bonds are a necessary component of the justice system.

Just like fire insurance, you don’t want to have to turn to it, but you will be glad for it the day you need it.

Contact us when you need help for yourself or a loved one.