This Is Who Really Makes Money From Bail

The increased adaptation of cash bail in the United States has severely affected how jailing works, with many people and advocacy groups believing that a two-tiered system takes place. Most incarcerated people are part of the bottom tier, meaning they and their families cannot raise the money to pay their bail. To free themselves of imprisonment until their trial, they go to bail bond agents to front their bills. A small minority of people can raise funds through whatever means to pay their bail and await trial in the comfort of their homes.

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American bail bond businesses collectively are worth more than $2 billion and operate on a system that many believe is predicated on unfair business practices that derogate from constitutional rights. Bail bond companies in the United States work privately to earn, manage, and stay on top of funds. State judicial systems set high bail prices for various positive and negative reasons. But this ultimately helps a bail bond agent earn money because people who skip out on bail face heftier fines. Since a significant minority of Americans cannot afford emergency expenses and individuals awaiting trial are faced with particular legal, fiscal, and career costs and challenges due to their possible criminal status, bonds are unseeingly predatory.