COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. This piece investigates the effects of Coronavirus on the US justice system communities: particularly courts, prisons, detention centers, and law enforcement.
Restriction on Legal Help: From the beginning, jail authorities, in an effort to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, have greatly limited the number and frequency of visits; this includes relatives and more importantly defense lawyers. It has affected the rights of the undertrials to communicate with their legal counsel. Although some prisons have set up meetings through phone calls or video conferencing technology, physical communication is irreplaceable. It is faster and more convenient for the incarcerated individual to examine testimonies, write down any memories of events, or exchange documents and crucial information with their attorney. The best possible way to get out of the system during these trying times is to opt for bail.
- If you cannot pay the full amount up-front, worry not! A reputable bail bond business charges only 8-15% of the amount as a premium. In return, they provide legal support and post the bail on your behalf.
- It is in your best interest to hire a local bondsman who can provide you with enough attention and expertise. People in San Diego may visit https://acmebail.com/locations/san-diego/to find reliable bail bondsmen to ensure a quick release.
Increased Court Fines: Only a few states have passed official guidelines to ease financial strains during these trying times. Others have decided to increase court expenses, traffic fines, and money bail to offset losses in their fiscal budget due to COVID-19.
- New York City’s arrangement to increase ticketing fees has collected $42 million from drivers in total. This has heavily funded last financial year’s spending plan and highlights the disastrous economic policies that emerged during the pandemic.
- The Fees and Fines Justice Center, an organization advocating against unreasonable expenses and fines, has rightly called out this disturbing trend. Further, they applauded the role of bail bondsmen, who bought much-needed respite to the financially struggling undertrial populations.
- Activists have labeled this as an “inhumane response” to an economic crisis. Not only are the incarcerated disproportionately poor, but an additional financial load also seals their fate behind the bars even if they are innocent.
Reentry and Reintegration into Society: In a normal year, formerly incarcerated individuals have considerably lesser job opportunities due to the stigma attached with hiring someone having a criminal background.
- During 2020-21, entering society after serving weeks of probation has created difficulties with getting back on one’s feet.
- Moreover, it has become insanely difficult to secure housing. Most homeowners conduct background checks and will not offer a place to someone recently arrested. Furthermore, an arrest record makes one ineligible for public housing.
- Until one has paid all their court dues, they will not be released from supervision. Therefore, work with an experienced bail bondsman who not only helps you with getting a fast bail but also provides guidelines on how to clear arrest records through ‘expungement’. This process will give you a new lease on life and the opportunities you rightfully deserve.
Situations arising due to social distancing rules have raised legitimate concerns about the already broken system. In such a scenario, bail bonds are a way to safeguard and preserve the administration of speedy, equitable justice.