Courts dropping bail requirements; bail bondsmen hardest hit

To say that courts are interdependent is to say they are a part of a larger system. Courts rely on key resources–including funding, staffing, and a steady flow of cases–from external actors. And many people outside the courts rely on the court system itself for legal stability, safety, and sometimes their livelihoods.

A good example of the latter interdependence is the work of bail bondsmen. The Wall Street Journal reports today that many state courts have dropped or are radically revising the cash bail system for criminal defendants that has been in place since the late 1800s. With fewer defendants needing to post bail, there has been less of a need for bail bonds, and the bail bond industry is suffering more than at any point in the last four decades.

A very interesting story on a complex interdependency, and a good reminder as to why there are few easy, painless fixes in interdependent systems.

(Story link may require a subscription.)

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