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Bail Bondsmen Reject the Idea That the System is Unfair

photo of gavel and handcuffs

The head of the Ohio Bail Agents Association is responding to a report by the conservative Buckeye Institute calling the state's cash bail system unfair to poor defendants.

Charles Miller says he agrees in principle that a person's wealth should not determine whether they get pretrial release. 

The judge or the system says, 'Hey, this person is truly indigent and can't afford bail and is nonviolent,' then so be it.

But Miller disagrees with the report's findings that cash bail is unfair and that courts should stop using it. He says Ohio law already allows judges to consider a defendant's financial situation when setting bail and alternatives, such as counseling and pre-trial monitoring, cost taxpayers more money.

Reformers argue those alternatives would actually save governments money, because they would spend less on jailing people accused of low-level crimes.