When a judge opts not to release a defendant and sets bail that’s higher than he can pay in cash, a commercial bail bond agent decides, in effect, whether the guy stays in or goes free.
It’s rare, but it happens: A person gets arrested on multiple charges, has $1 bail set on one, clears the other counts up, but remains in jail for lack of a solitary greenback.
The long-running cops-and-courtrooms drama often brings viewers into the bail hearing.
Other cities have employed new methods of pre-trial monitoring to avoid setting financial bail. Given the scale of the city’s criminal justice system, would such an approach deliver both public safety and individual justice in New York?