Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Many say bail system needs reform

New Haven Register - Many say bail system needs reform: "Bail industry spokesmen, state prosecutors and law enforcement officials urged lawmakers Monday to reform a bail system they say has turned into a 'feeding frenzy' of cutthroat competition.

The fierce competition has lead many bail bond companies to 'undercut' the state’s legal rates, which normally requires defendants to pay 7 percent to 10 percent of the amount of their bail to a bondsman, who will then be liable for the full amount if the defendant were to flee.

Many Connecticut bail bond companies are offering bail bonds for just 2 percent or 3 percent of the bail set by a judge, lawmakers were told during the hearing. Several officials said judges appear to be setting higher bails for defendants than in the past because of the cut-rate fees being charged."

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