2018 is the year of criminal justice reforms in the Golden State; from reducing prison populations and legislation to keep juveniles out of the adult system to end the practice of money bail. Regarding the latter, Governor Jerry Brown penned his signature to Senate Bill 10 with this ending the hotly contested system that keeps the poorest of Americans in jail awaiting prosecution. On the day Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure into law, August 28, 2018, he stated “today, California reforms its bail system, so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” according to The Washington Post. Naturally, the move was welcome among equal rights activists and national organizations.
It’s worth remembering that cash bail is a big business generating millions and millions of dollars each year. Not surprisingly, the industry is not going to step aside without a coordinated effort to delay the rollout of SB 10 and repeal it when the opportunity arises. A campaign is underway to collect enough signatures to put a measure before voters in 2020.
Repealing SB 10
At the end of October, the bail bond industry had raised $2.5 million to fund the SB 10 repeal effort, the article reports. Triton, a bail company, owned by Endeavour Capital (private equity firm), has made an $800,000 contribution to the effort. The money raised is funding a veritable army of signature collectors. For each signature collected, solicitors in San Diego earn $3.25.
An executive at Triton justified the company’s decision to donate by pointing out that Senate Bill 10 “would wipe out the bail industry in California.” If the legislation stands, then it stands to reason that bail guarantors would lose their entire customer base. A lot is at stake!
The Private Equity Stakeholder Project, a nonprofit group tracking firms like Endeavour Capital, reports that they’ve bought many companies who service low income individuals. Such industries include:
- Low-income housing
- Payday loan businesses
- Nursing homes
- Detention centers
- Prison phone services
To be fair, some progressive groups are not a fan of SB 10 either; the American Civil Liberties Union stopped lending their support despite their opposition to money bail. The organization has concerns that the bill is too broad and may result in higher rates of pretrial incarceration.
“As much as we would welcome an end to the predatory lending practices of the for-profit bail industry, [this bill] cannot promise a system with a substantial reduction in pretrial detention,” California’s ACLU affiliates said in a statement. “We oppose the bill because it seeks to replace the current deeply flawed system with an overly broad presumption of preventive detention.”
Southern California Criminal Defense
Please contact The Law Office of Ronald G Brower is you require a strong legal defense. Attorney Brower brings decades of experience to the table and can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.