Your Neighbor, the Bail Bondsman
- September 18, 2017
- by Drew Bloom
Many people, for whatever reason, have a negative opinion of bail bondsmen. Those people don’t understand the industry, or simply have no idea what a bail bondsman does. They feel it is unfair to force people to pay bail to stay out of jail while awaiting the trial. Some of them blame the bail bondsmen since he/she is part of the system. That is akin to blaming their accountant for the complicated tax code.
Since many defendants lack the means to post their own bail, bail bonds provide a considerable service, securing the bond for a non-refundable fee, normally 10%. Nonetheless, many people believe that a bail bondsman is a type of loan shark, underhanded businessman or bounty hunter.
They are none of these. Most bail bond professionals are small business owners, like your accountant, your auto repairman or your pizza maker. They have families and may live in your neighborhood. A bondsman may be your son or daughter’s soccer coach. He is the man in the stands, cheering for a local high school team. She is a leader of a girl scout troop.
There are more than 15,000 registered bail bondsmen nationwide, most of them operating in their respective localities. Almost all of them make themselves available 24 hours a day. It is the nature of the business. When not aiding in processing an accused out of lock up, they live lives like anyone else.
When you think about the qualities that make a good bondsman, it is easy to see that they are the same qualities that make a good neighbor. Some of those qualities are:
- Patience - Bail bondsman deals primarily with people who are trying to get someone out of jail “now!” There is a sense of urgency when a loved one is incarcerated. They may present as aggravated, upset and anxious. Bail agents are trained in customer care and make every effort to comfort their clients. This takes patience and understanding.
- Detail oriented – Like most other interactions with a government agency, the bail bond industry requires paperwork. Errors can have damaging consequences for the bail bondsman or client. Bondsmen must be fastidious in their attention to each case. Your neighbor with the best yard may be similarly oriented.
- People-oriented – Bail bondsmen work with people who have an immediate need. They deal with such people at all times of day, every day of the year. They must be able to relate to their feelings and personal situations. They understand what they are experiencing. A bondsman must be willing to put themselves in the shoes or see through the eyes of their clients It’s an ability not everyone has. It’s called empathy, something good neighbors have for others.
- Business owners – Their business is different than most others. Bail bondsmen, for the most part, are sole proprietors or LLC’s. They pay taxes, hire employees and perform a valuable service for the public. The service they perform saves money for the taxpayer. In Connecticut, it costs $137/day to keep an inmate incarcerated. Those costs are eliminated when a defendant is allowed out of jail on bail while awaiting trial. The Bail company ensures the defendant will appear in court. If they fail to show up, the agency sends out Bail Enforcement Agents to bring them back. This is done at their own expense, not the taxpayers.
Drew Bloom is the owner and founder of 3D Bail Bonds, a bond agency serving Connecticut for more than 20 years. In his spare time Drew coaches a local little league and volunteers for his local fire department.