Most of us are probably pretty familiar with the drill. If we haven’t experienced it ourselves or known someone who has, we have at least seen the drill performed on the countless cop shows on television: Someone gets arrested, and they wait in jail until someone can bail them out. Seems sensible enough, right?

I mean, there needs to be some accountability to make sure that person shows up to court. Having money riding on the line seems to be a reasonable solution to this.

Darren Pollok is the County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Guadalupe County.

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(1) comment

Shepard

Mr. Pollock, I wholeheartedly agree with your assertion and strongly believe our system has moved from ‘Justice based’ to ‘money based’, this hurting the poorest most of all.

I had the uncomfortable experience of sitting in a courtroom in this county watching the life of an elderly woman being inexplicably destroyed by this system. The lady was stopped and handed a ticket for failure to provide proof of insurance. As she stated a number of times in court, she was working nights as she took care of her two grandchildren, as their mother had run off. She explained to the judge several times her economic predicament and, in response, the judge reiterated ‘this is the fine, pay it or be arrested at your next traffic stop’. It was pathetic. Instead of understanding and verifying her situation, and trying to work with her, the judge just wanted her money.

Money, money, money. One of the major reasons we are seeing the discontent nationally between citizens and the police has nothing to do with police, it has more to do with courts, judges, city councils and others who control the ‘cash business’ of fines and fees.

If we want to have a “Justice System”, we would do away with bails except where needed, alter the fines and fees structure to be reasonable and STOP incorporating the forecasted fines into our budgets. Whoever thought that using the last years fines collected to be part of the next years city / county budget should be flogged.

The government, OUR government is not and should not be in the business of making money, regardless of the reason or setting.

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