According to most people, social distancing and voluntary quarantines are the best way to slow the spread of coronavirus. Unfortunately for jail inmates, these two things are completely unavailable. Social distancing is impossible in overcrowded jails. Additionally, many inmates have compromised immune systems. Voluntary quarantine is clearly not an option for most of these people. As a result, a jail or prison coronavirus outbreak could “spread like wildfire.” according to one nonprofit research group.
The Centers for Disease Control has issued some guidelines in this area. Unfortunately, however, these guidelines say very little about jail and prison safety. The State of Tennessee has issued guidelines as well. Limited testing is in place and some day-to-day changes, such as limited work crews and inmate visitors, have been implemented. But for the most part, jails and their prison inmates are on their own.
So, the best way to avoid a jail-related coronavirus infection is to avoid jail altogether. This means working with a bondsman to get you a fast release from jail with the folks at Fizer Bonding Company in Montgomery and Robertson counties Tennessee (bail bond near me). Despite the pandemic, bail bonds are available 24/7/365 in Robertson and Montgomery Counties. Fizer Bonding Company is very proactive when it comes to working with released inmates and putting their safety first. This includes their physical health as well as their mental health while understanding that we are all at risk in today’s Covid-19 pandemic world.
How Are Bonding Companies Helping My Community Deal with Stress and Anxiety about COVID-19?
Even though the pandemic has affected cash flow, Fizer Bonding Company as a proud contributing member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents, along with a Memphis-based bail bonds agency, recently made a generous donation to the Memphis Union Mission. MUM helps individuals and families who are struggling with substance addiction and chronic homelessness.
“Everything we do is to help transform the lives of those who have struggled with addiction, poverty and homelessness,” said D. Scott Bjork, Memphis Union Mission’s CEO. “Our organization runs entirely on donations. Without support from the community, we would not be able to carry out our mission any longer,” he added.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit MUM’s clients particularly hard. These individuals have no safety net of their own, and any available community resources are stretched very thin.
Financial donations are good, but they are only one part of the commitment local bail bonds offices have to the communities they serve.
We make sure coronavirus accommodations are generously available to our clients. Some bonding companies continue to insist on personal check-ins. But we offer alternatives, such as video and telephone check-ins. Other people have trouble paying periodic fees, such as Ignition Interlock Device monitoring fees. Unfortunately, your bail bond agent has no direct control over such fees. But an agent can and does run interference for you.
Bail bondsman also advocate for arrestees at the state level. They provide information which helps legislators make the best possible decisions in the midst of a pandemic. For example, Tennessee lawmakers are currently considering House Bill 1131. Section 1 of this bill requires judges and magistrates to release most defendants on unsecured bonds. As outlined below, expanding the state’s pretrial release system might be seen as a waste of taxpayer money. Additionally, limiting judicial discretion often comes with many risks to society.
Currently HB 1131 is stuck in committee. The measure has no bipartisan support, and the Criminal Justice Subcommittee has not so far officially been seen to be in support of it.
Is Pretrial Release an Effective Use of Resources in the Coronavirus Age?
Because of the aforementioned jailhouse COVID-19 risks, some people believe emptying jails via pretrial release is a good idea. But the latest research indicates that this may not be the case. A recent University study made some rather startling findings:
- There have been a lot of press articles made about the high percentage of unsentenced inmates in local jails. But the eye-popping statistics might be misleading. Less than 2 percent of all detainees were incarcerated because they could not afford a bail bond. More on that below.
- The surveyed pretrial release programs cost state taxpayers $32 million per year, or about $87,000 per day. That money would buy a lot of facemasks. Especially since so many coronavirus accommodations could be made available. It might make sense to use this money elsewhere.
When people are arrested, there are basically three ways to get out of jail. First, there’s a limited pretrial release program. State-sponsored OR (Own Recognizance) release is available in some cases. Second, there’s cash bail. Cash bail is basically a security deposit. Finally, there’s a bail bond with Fizer Bonding Company (bail bond near me), which is essentially an insurance policy. The bondsmen agree to pay the security deposit if the defendant does not appear at trial.
Has Coronavirus Affected Bail Amounts?
In a nutshell, coronavirus has significantly affected bail amounts throughout the Nineteenth Judicial District due to a change in procedures and coronavirus protocols. This District includes Robertson County, Montgomery County, and most surrounding jurisdictions.
Bail for nonviolent misdemeanors, both original arrests and probation violations, is presumptively set at zero. Nonviolent misdemeanors always include drug possession and property crimes. Depending on the facts, DUI might be a nonviolent crime as well. The District Attorney General’s office can request bail in these cases.
Felony coronavirus bail is a bit more complex. Zero bail is limited to non-violent C, D, & E felonies, and there aren’t very many of these cases, as well as probation violations for a failed drug test, financial delinquency, failure to perform community service, and some other technical violations. Otherwise, standard bail procedure applies.
Typically, the sheriff sets presumptive bail amounts based on the defendant’s criminal history and the nature of the offense, At the arraignment, an attorney can argue for a bail reduction based on the defendant’s ability to pay, defendant’s connections to the community, actual threats to witnesses or victims, and some other factors.
That procedure is subject to change if the defendant files an indigency affidavit. Furthermore, until the coronavirus lockdown completely ends, judges must usually conduct arraignments and other hearings via telephone.
For more answers to more frequently asked questions and a FREE bail consultation contact Fizer Bonding Company (bail bonds Clarksville TN). Fizer Bonding Company is a proud member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents and offers their bonding services for only 10% of the bond amount. For more info about Fizer Bonding Company bail bonds, click here.
“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”
Fizer Bonding Company in Montgomery County Tennessee
Fizer Bonding Company in Robertson County Tennessee
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