Why Bail Bonds Reduce Failures to Appear Rates

Bail Bonds Reduces FTA’s

Bail Bonds reduces FTA’s brought to you by Massey’s Bail Bonds

Bail Bonds Reduces FTA'sFirst; in November 2007; the United States Department of Justice released a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (“BJS”) entitled: “Pre-Trial release of Felony defendants in State Courts.”


  1. Defendants released through a Pre-Trial Program failed to appear for court 28% of the time.
  2. Only 19% of the defendants released through a Bail Bond Company failed to appear.
  3. The failure to appear rate for defendants released on unsecured bond was 30%.
  4. After one year; only 3% of defendants released on a Bail Bond were fugitives. This is compared to 10% of persons released on unsecured Bond.
  5. Seems like; Bail Bonds Reduces FTA’s by 11%.

Furthermore; In a study entitled “Public versus Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from Bail Jumping”, researchers Dr. Eric Helland & Dr. Alexander Tabarrok compared failure to appear and fugitive rates. Using; felony defendants released on their own recognizance. Clerk/Court Deposit. Cash Bond Surety Bond. & Emergency release. In addition; the study used data sets compiled by BJS over an eight year period.


  1. Defendants on Surety Bonds are by far more likely to appear in court. They are less likely to remain fugitives.
  2. Defendants released on Bond are 28% less likely to fail to appear. defendants released on their own recognizance were showed a higher risk.
  3. 53% that fail to appear on a Bond are less likely to remain a fugitive for long periods of time.
  4. The authors compared defendants released on cash Bond vs. a Bail Bond. As a result; it showed a 64% lower chance for fugitives on surety bonds to remain at large.

Cost Associated With the Failure of Defendants to Appear in Court is another reason why Bail Bonds Reduces FTA’s

The 1st Judicial District of Pennsylvania; which governs Philadelphia. Ultimately; made the decision to prohibit the use of commercial bail within its jurisdiction in the 1970’s. Approximately; 19,000 defendants failed to appear each year. Forfeited bail went largely uncollected to the tune of an estimated $1 billion.  Philadelphia’s pretrial system noted that national fugitive rates are 30% higher in jurisdictions that rely on deposit bail.  In April of 2012, an order was issued to relax entry requirements for bail surety companies. This effectively reinstate the use of commercial bail.

A Study in Texas shows the difference in failure to appear versus commercial bail

All Defendants
Cash Bail                                      31% higher
Pretrial Services Bond               39% higher

Felony Defendants
Cash Bail                                       56% higher
PreTrail services Bond               42% higher

Misdemeanor Defendants
Cash Bail                                      26% higher
Pretrial Services Bond               32% higher

In a study conducted by a professor at the University of Arizona in the 1990’s. The cost of a single failure to appear was calculated based on the loss of time for: Attorneys. Judges. Court Officers. Witnesses. &; Law Enforcement. Adjusted for inflation; this cost is estimated at $1,775 for each failure to appear. Applying this cost estimate to the Dallas County findings. It is estimated that the utilization of commercial bonds saved approximately $350,000 for every 1,000 felony defendants. In addition; over $160,000 for every 1,000 misdemeanor defendants. When a forfeiture judgment did occur. The full amount of the Bail would be forfeited by a solvent surety. It would then be up to the bail agent, not the state or the county to apprehend the defendant.

In conclusion; Bail Bonds Reduces FTA’s and saves that states resources, & money.

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