Last Friday, Sen. Cory Booker D-N.J., and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio sent a letter to 22 insurance companies requesting details of their finance and their relationship with the bail bond agents they underwrite, reported the Marshall Project.
The letter includes a series of questions asking for information on how the insurance companies are monitoring for abuse and legal violations and the firm’s willingness to consider affirmative steps to end relations with bond agents accused of abusive practices.
“We are concerned that many of our nation’s insurance companies may be pursuing profits at the expense of economic security for vulnerable families and the goals of public safety,” wrote the senators.
Citing recent studies and investigative reporting that suggests that the bail industry is rife with abusive practices that harm low-income clients, the senators asked corporate insurers to disclose details of their “largely hidden” role in the commercial bail system.
Several states have limited cash bail through laws, constitutional amendment or rules of criminal procedure, according to the Marshall Project. New Jersey has essentially ended cash bail since 2017.
In a related item, a federal judge in New Orleans recently struck down the cash bail system.
In Nevada, activists hope to convince the Legislature to reform the bail system by requiring judges to consider house arrest, diversion programs and other alternatives cash bail.