Here is another example of the so called “PARS” program at work…..or rather, FAIL to work, as the case may be.
In January of this year the defendant, Samantha Marcial, (case #16CF0430, see attached) was entered into the PARS program and released from custody after being charged with felony burglary and grand theft. She since has picked up another grand theft/receiving stolen property case and has been a fugitive since March. Because there is no bail bond agency and co-signers incentivized to have Ms. Marcial appear in court, she will more than likely remain a fugitive. This means justice goes unserved (so sorry victims) or if by chance she gets picked up again, it’s the tax-payers that carry the costs of apprehension and incarceration.
While some defendants may not themselves have the resources to post bond, their family, friends and employers are often willing to step forward and provide the premium and collateral needed to post bail. These third parties also provide expanded supervision of the defendant while released pending trial as they too are exposed to personal financial risk. Finally, I would remind the public that the entire criminal justice system hinges on defendants appearing in court making the function of bail agents essential to a successful judicial process.
The PARS programs “Risk Assessment Tool” now being used in Orange County to release defendants on their Own Recognizance is proving ineffective, unnecessary and expensive. The number of warrants in Orange County is historically high, the court budget is maxed-out and the jails are no longer filled to capacity. Leave the pretrial release decision to the Judges and use the bail bond system to assure a better functioning criminal justice system.