Blog Post

Potential Legislation to Restrict Eligibility for Nonfinancial Release

Dear NAPSA Member:

NAPSA's Board of Directors would like to notify you about potential legislation you may encounter in the near future aimed at restricting eligibility for nonfinancial release. The legislation is sponsored by the American Bail Coalition (ABC) and is intended to counter the adoption of legislation and court decrees that are re-defining bail nationwide. ABC is a trade association of national bail insurance companies.


As the ABC notes on its website:

"This document and the attached simple model policies can be used to respond to what is a now a crisis in our system – in part due to the unraveling of judicial discretion by legislative edict and the premise that we can simply ignore individual consideration in pretrial release decision-making and move to a mandate of zero bail for selected charges. Instead, what is needed is to direct the system to focus the requirements of pretrial security (i.e., bail and conditions of release) on those who are proven recidivists (i.e., lengthy record of crimes and crimes while on bail and having previously failed to show up for court)."

The ABC's "model policies" include:

* Legislation to Restrict Eligibility of Personal Recognizance

* Public Safety Report Requirement

* Public Safety Data Collection and Accountability

* Legislation to Regulate “Bail Disruptors” and Bail Funds

* Public Safety and Judicial Accountability Act of 2023

Given the ABC’s role as a trade association for bail insurance companies, its support of efforts to restrict nonfinancial release options is understandable. The Coalition recently softened its rhetoric surrounding bail. For example, ABC’s focus—according to its website—is “to protect the constitutional right to bail by working with local and state policymakers to bring best practices to the system of release from custody pending trial.” However, these “best practices” invariably involve secured financial bail options or fee-based release conditions. They bear no resemblance to legal and evidence-based practices espoused in NAPSA’s Standards or the work of organizations such as the National Institute of Corrections, Arnold Ventures, LLC., and Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research. As the voice of the pretrial practitioner—not a profit based industry—NAPSA will continue to advance fair, practical, and effective bail practices that help make pretrial justice the norm in America’s courts.

ABC's agenda can be found at the website below. Be aware that the ABC's primary audiences here include not just state and local legislators but also sheriffs, judges, and prosecutors. The NAPSA Board is reviewing these documents and will respond to any claims about bail reform efforts we believe are erroneous or misleading.


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