One of the largest insurance and surety companies in the state of New Jersey, Broadway Insurance & Surety Company is focused to amend, not to reverse, the current bail reform in order to create a safer New Jersey.
Complications with the bail reform are as follows;
- Accused offenders are being released without any supervision or accountability; failure to appear rates have already started to increase.
- Law enforcement is forced to spend most of their time processing reports and transporting repeat offenders back and forth to County Jails due to an overflow of releases and re-incarcerations. This results in officers being removed from their primary duty of public safety.
- The bail reform in its current capacity is costing the state an additional expense of $250-$275 million annually in tax payers’ money according to expert Dr. Daraius Irani. With first year’s additional costs of approximately $500 million. (Undo NJ’s Historic Bail Reform, 2016). Even the New Jersey Association of County’s (NJAC) predicts that an increase in costs of over $50 million each year just to the County’s .
- The currently implemented PSA system is flawed. Individuals are sitting in jail on minor offenses while violent offenders are released. For example, numbers for Ahmad Khan Rahami, (the Seaside Park Boardwalk Bomber), were low enough that if he were processed, he would be eligible for release. This concludes that if someone commits murder, without having any previous criminal history, that person will score a lower PSA score than a person who shoplifted a few times. (NJ Police Detective Speaks Out Against Bail Reform, 2017). The PSA system is also biased against minorities.
- The bail reform is causing injustice to individuals who have been victimized by repeat offenders, who are released back into society hours after being apprehended without any accountability.
We propose the following;
- High risk accused offenders to be held without bail such as murder, aggravated sexual assault, and crimes of extreme violence.
- First time offenders and those accused of petty crimes should be released on a summons.
- Offenders that fall in between of petty crimes and high risk crimes should be given monetary bail after being arrested. Insurance companies release accused offenders to a circle of family and friends who have a financial obligation to monitor and insure that the accused offender attends court dates, seeks employment, and integrates back into society. This also eliminates processing and transporting accused offenders by law enforcement.
- Monetary bail costs the state and tax payers $0.00, in fact it generates up to $15 million annually in state income.
- Monetary bail is designed to serve low income individuals, with a finance premium option as low as $0.00 down payment. Wealthy individuals can easily pay the set bail amount without monetary bail. For example, Bill Cosby posted $1 million bail and Tiffany Li who posted a $35 million bail by posting $60 million in property. (Bill Cosby Posts $1 Million Bail, 2015 & California Murder Suspect posts 8th Highest Bail in U.S. Court History, 2017).
- Eliminate PSA scoring, incarceration should be determined by the Judges. Judges have the knowledge, experience, and consideration when determining release or incarceration. Judges are able to calculate risk better than a flawed computer system.
Lastly, we are not proposing a complete repeal or overhaul of the present law. Instead we are looking to amend the bail reform to eliminate its flaws and to uphold statues of the law that are not being followed.