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Tuesday, October 19,2010

Colorado victim groups oppose Prop. 102

By Boulder Weekly Staff
The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA), the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) are asking voters to vote no on Proposition 102. It’s an attempt to have certain defendants pay a cash or secured bond before their trial. The proposal is supported by bail bonds companies but frowned upon by law enforcement agencies.

“Domestic violence is a complex, nuanced issue best addressed by the criminal justice system on a case-by-case basis. The judiciary must have some discretion in order to determine how to best contain and manage domestic violence offenders while balancing the safety, needs and rights of domestic violence victims. Proposition 102 does not serve the best interest of victims or defendants in Colorado; rather, it exploits them to advance the interests of the bail bond industry,” said Amy Miller of CCADV in a statement.

“It is clear that other than the for-profit bail bonds industry, which is the only group that will stand to gain from passage of Prop 102, there is little, if any, support for this measure. Newspapers around the state have editorialized against Prop 102. Countless organizations have issued resolutions against the measure,” added Stefanie Clarke, spokesperson for Citizens to Protect Colorado Communities. “We are confident that voters will choose public safety over profits for the bail bonds industry and reject Prop 102 this November.”

For more information on the opposing stance, visit www.votenoto102.org.

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Amy Miller at the CCADV has taken a surprising position on Prop 102 given who she represents.  The purpose of bail is to guarantee a defendant's appearance in court. Pretrial Services cannot provide this guarantee.  Bail Agents have a financial incentive to get the defendant to court.  As an advocate for victims of crime, Ms. Miller should support her constituents by voting yes to 102 as victims of crime deserve the the right to justice.  She should not support free release for those defendants making victims of citizens of Colorado.



Mr. Whitlock is right on....it is completely shocking that a victim advocate group would oppose a group whose business relies on a "guarantee" that a defendant shows up in court.  When a defendant shows up in court a victim gets their chance at justice.  Why would a victim advocate oppose this...especially when you have pretrial service agencies releasing violent offendors on their own recognizance with no "guarantee". 

In fact recently the National Center for Victims of Crime, a leading victim advocacy group, spoke at the national conference of AIA (www.aiasurety.com), the nation's oldest and largest bail surety, and at the California Bail Agents Association Annual meeting in Vegas.  They fully understand the important role that bail agents can play in ensuring victims have a chance at justice.

NCVC also recently invited ExpertBail (www.expertbail.com), the bail bond industry's first and only national brand, to participate at their conference.  Through the ExpertBail network over 360,000 victims had a chance at justice, and over 3.5 million court appearances were ensured.

To use victim advocacy as an argument against bail is ridiculous. 



You really do not get it. I run bail bond agencies in several states. We require physical and telephone check-ins, and in some instances rehabilitation programs and counseling as well as ankle bracelets. We also apprehend our own defendants or we pay the penal amount of the bond (which is revenue for the state) if we cannot apprehend them. We do not rely on an already over burden the police departments to server our warrants. Pre-Trial does not go after them. Our Police departments are burdened with that task. (At an expense to the tax payer.).  We provide the same services that pretrial does at no expense to the taxpayer. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that we even do a better job of getting defendants to court. With a bail bond the defendant has a vested financial interest in appearing for court. Pre-Trial the defendant and there family have nothing at stake. Why should taxpayers fund the criminal element of our society? These people have allegedly broken a law, so now we have to pay for their supervision. I do not think that is the way we should spend our tax dollars. Let the accused fund their own supervision if they want out of jail not the taxpayer.



Great points Taxpayer.  If anyone wants to see the facts on pretrial release and see some of stats from the Bureau of Justice Statistics study that are referred to in the previous post above visit www.pretrialtruth.com and get the FREE Whitepaper.



judges flippantly set bail amounts. if they did their job, jail overcrowding would not be a problem. pretrial services is a cya program - and judges prefer pretrial services because it "covers  their arse's" while putting more money in their lawyer colleague pockets since criminal clients have more money thanks to the taxpayer who paid their baill amount in full. pretrial services is another lawyer stimulous program and government jobs program all rolled in one. and self serving politicians endorse pretrial services because it buys them lots of votes - all votes bought and paid for by you - the taxpayer. politicians, criminals and lawyers (coincidence?) will be voting no. don't be a sucker - screw the lawyers and criminals and vote-buying politicians by  - VOTING YES on PROP 102.