The bail industry provides many benefits to the state of Texas and its city and county governments. Very often these important benefits go unnoticed by decision makers. They include but are not limited to:
Supporting a Strong Texas Economy
The private bail industry is made up of hundreds of small family businesses that employ thousands of people all over the state. Additionally, many of those small businesses are woman and minority owned. In addition to having a wide range of diversity, many bail agents have strong backgrounds in the military and/or in law enforcement and they all are strong supporters of a robust and accountable criminal justice system in Texas.
The Texas Private Surety Bail System Contributes Significant Revenues to Texas’s General Fund, County Budgets and other State Programs
- The Private Surety Bonding Industry pays personal property taxes for their offices
- Forfeiture payments ($25 million annually)
- Court costs associated with forfeitures ($3 million annually)
- Premium taxes paid by insurance companies
- State posting fees – $15 per bond (approximately $7.2 million annually)
The private bail industry ensures over 6.8 million court appearances every year.
All these fees are utilized by the state, county and local governments. For example, 2/3 of the revenue from posting fees are deposited into the Prosecutor Longevity Fund which is used to hire additional prosecutors around the state and 1/3 of the posting fees are deposited into the Fair Defense Account to provide criminal defense representation for the poor. Overall, the private bail industry contributes over $40 million each year to the economy of the state of Texas.
Ensuring Victims Get a Chance at Justice
By ensuring that defendants go to court, the bail industry ensures that victims of crime get a real chance at justice. With just over 700,000 bonds posted each year, Texas’ private bail industry ensures over 6.8 million court appearances. In doing so, they also ensure that close to 700,000 victims got a chance at justice.
Holding Criminals Accountable
When defendants are released on a financially secured bond, they are much more likely to show up for court. It has been proven time and time again that by involving family members and other social connections of the defendant in the underwriting process, and requiring them to participate financially, the likelihood of appearance increases substantially. In this way, the private bail industry holds more accused criminals accountable. In many ways, the private surety industry, in working with families, is sometimes the last chance for many arrestees to become productive citizens.
Additionally, if a defendant decides to flee the county, the state or even the country, the private bail industry goes out and retrieves that defendant and brings them back to Texas to face justice. This retrieval is done at no cost to taxpayers.