I am urging voters to say “no” to Proposition 102, a statewide proposal dealing with Bail Bonds.
Proposition 102 is being sponsored and paid for by the Bail Bonds Industry. Money and support is coming in nationally from the individuals who stand to profit from it. The only people who will benefit from it are the private bail bonds companies. The bail bonds industry tried unsuccessfully to go to legislatures in a number of states to have similar laws passed. Once those efforts failed they decided to take advantage of Colorado’s relatively easy ballot process to put this measure directly in front of the voters. They are using scare tactics to encourage passage of the proposal. They are smearing county run pre-trial service programs, calling them “government funded criminal defendant welfare programs”. Their goal is to force all defendants to pay cash bonds, which in turn forces them to use bail bondsman who make significant profits from the transaction. They will try to scare voters into believing that this will somehow make them safer. Don’t listen to them.
Boulder County and many other jurisdictions have successful, professionally managed pre-trial supervision programs which assess and assign certain eligible defendants to a wide variety of pre-trial bond alternatives. The result is that the jails are less crowded with pre-trial defendants who cannot afford bail, the community remains safe, and the savings to tax payers is huge. These defendants can continue to work, make their payments, support their families, and stay off of government provided benefits. Defendants who are judged to be a danger to the community are not eligible for these services and will continue to be required to post appropriate bonds.
Proposition 102 strips the courts of their discretion in these matters and will cause long-term increased costs to the local jail systems. Don’t let a for-profit industry negatively impact our court system and jail programs.
Sheriff Joe Pelle