Rand Paul Abandons Market Principles In His Attempt To Nationalize Bail Bonds

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is known for his support of free market principles, but that apparently changes entirely when it comes to bail. He is championing legislation alongside Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) that would use federal grants to effectively destroy the bail bonds industry, putting thousands of small businessmen at risk of losing their livelihoods.
“Our justice system was designed with a promise: to treat all people equally,” Harris was quoted as saying in a news release. “Yet more than 450,000 Americans sit in jail today awaiting trial and many of them cannot afford ‘money bail.’ In our country, whether you stay in jail or not is wholly determined by whether you’re wealthy or not — and that’s wrong.”

Harris and Paul published a joint op/ed in the New York Times where the lawmakers referenced the policies of New Jersey as an example of what their proposed federal grant money would influence states into adopting. New Jersey has become a stunning example of the unintended consequences of government solutions to the supposed bail problem.

NBC New York conducted an early expose of what happened after New Jersey effectively dismantled the bail bonds system in their state. What they found was a tremendous lack of accountability, increased government control and spending, and the empowering of criminals to commit more offenses. From the report:

“On January 1 of this year, New Jersey overhauled its criminal justice system and virtually eliminated the old cash bail structure, replacing it with one that relies heavily on a mathematical risk assessment formula…

From January 1 through March 31, 10,193 eligible defendants were processed. Preventive detention was ordered for only 12.4%. Nearly 85% were given pretrial release, some with conditions…

Outraged mother June Rodgers of Millville blames bail reform for the murder of her son. He was shot to death on a street in Vineland in April after a verbal dispute with a man driving a car. Cops arrested career criminal Jules Black, who’d been picked up on a separate gun charge four days before, and released with no bail…

The state has created a Division of Pretrial Services to monitor defendants. The funds come from court fees. There have been 173 employees hired so far. The projected spending for next fiscal year is expected to be in the range of $36 million to $38 million dollars.

The Office of Administrative Courts was unable to provide any statistics on the number of released defendants who have re-offended since January 1, or the number of those who have failed to appear for scheduled court dates.”

Under Paul’s proposal, $10 million in federal grant money would be earmarked toward coercing states across the country to adopt these policies. Matt Maddock, a conservative activist and bail bondsman from Michigan, has lobbied on behalf of his industry for many years. He believes that Paul’s plan is misguided and unbecoming of the tea party values that got him elected to the Senate in 2010.

“Outlawing bail bond agencies and eliminating money bail is not the solution to the problem of the criminally accused from languishing in jail unable to post bail,” Maddock said. “User-funded bail bond agencies are the only mechanism that effectively reduce the number of fugitives in our communities because they have ‘skin in the game,’ and they go out and bring fugitives back into custody.”

The streets may not be safer, government may not be limited, and small businessmen may have to worry about their livelihood, but at least Paul will have a decent photo-op with a Democrat and series of media appearances to boost his political aspirations. The legislation is not expected to pass.


    • So you’re using progressive talking points from Mother Jones to support government control?

      What kind of libertarian are you?

    • Aaron Gates I don’t believe in incorporation, but theoretically we should just pass a law banning excessive bail. Why do we need to pump money into the system.

    • if this effort were just to limit excessive bail amounts, that would be sensible bail reform. instead, this is an effort to end cash bail which would have a laundry list of terrible consequences (some of which are referenced in the article)

  1. Uh, bail bonds are a part of the judicial system and fall squarely within the scope of government.

    That there are people in the private sector that capitalize on such a thing is actually a PROBLEM… but regulating how much bail bonds can be set for is totally a role of government.

    • No, I love capitalism… but it has no place within the justice system.

      Do a little thinking about perverse incentives.

      Think about it a moment… the bail bondsman and the corporate jailer has incentives to create more customers by lobbying lawmakers to make more laws.

    • no, you don’t love capitalism. otherwise, you wouldn’t be advocating for government control. your excuse-ridden blather aside, what you support is more government thugs, more government spending and small businesses put out of commission. you should really be ashamed of yourself

    • Shane, you’re a moron and a troll.

      Seriously, get back to me when you understand at least SOME of what the legitimate role of government is. If you’re an Anarchist, just fuck off already and go to hell, because you’re obviously too stupid to even comprehend such deep thinking.

      If you’re not an anarchist, try to understand that capitalism and the justice system should never mix because profit motives get in the way of actual justice from being applied.

      From what I can see in your profile, you’re still young, probably somewhat educated, but obviously (based on your words here) lacking in the necessary education in the topics of political science and political philosophy to even engage with me on a peer to peer basis.

      If this were the real world, you’d be my student in my classroom… not an equal sitting across the table from me.

  2. I’m finally going to unfollow this page. I’ve never seen a page supposedly supporting liberty target real liberty Warriors like Austin Petersen and Senator Paul so much with hit pieces like these.

    • if hard-hitting journalism triggers you, that’s probably the right decision to make. feel free to find a page that won’t hold your sacred cows accountable.

  3. Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean that Rand Paul has abandoned market principles. He is THE CHAMPION of market principles in the U.S. Senate. What a bullshit reason to write a negative piece on Rand Paul.

  4. Ridiculous to have no bail bondsman no responsibilitie the bondsman gets them to court because they got skin in the game… accountability…!!!

  5. Rand Paul supporting Bail Reform with Kamala Harris is proof that our elected officials do not read the bills that they support. If a libertarian like Paul realized that supporting bail reform means handing the criminal justice system to the public sector and using tax dollars to pay for something that the private sector already does, there is no way he would support this. It is time for our elected officials to stop forcing their agendas down the voters throats and instead start representing the wishes of the people. Our communities do not want criminal defendants released out of jail for free with no accountability. We want them to have skin in the game and be held accountable for their actions. People are not in jail because they are poor…they are there because they are accused of breaking the law….period!!! If you don’t want to go to jail than don’t break the law.

  6. Being an advocate for free market principles means you understand when and where they should NOT be employed. There should not be a market incentive for incarceration where the state has a monopoly on legal detention. Denying the state the ability to extort money in exchange for freedom is not “abandoning free market principles.” Should a person be deemed a danger to society, they should be held. No one is arguing otherwise. However, if someone is granted freedom while awaiting trial, it shouldn’t come with a price tag so high as to be systemically discriminatory. Makes sense to me. Love the sensational headline about Rand’s attempt to “nationalize bail bonds.” LOL — that is spin worthy of Goebels. Bravo!

  7. How can you be so naive to the fact that our judicial system favors those with money. if anything, this bill is in part eliminating the corruption that comes with judges that have the power to hold others at ransom, or favor those who can afford to pay. The example used actually shows the incompetence of some judges. I don’t think anyone with a right mind would release someone who just committed a gun felony. The bail system currently takes away money that could be spent in better ways; often times, it is the families that post bail who would rather pay their bills or maybe pay for treatment.

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