Houston Chronicle Interviews Professor Lauryn Gouldin About Bail Bonds
As Harris County judges take heat for felony bonds, critics point to unnoticed culprit: The bondsmen
(Houston Chronicle | Oct. 14, 2021) Judges set bail, but it’s the bondsmen who decide how much a defendant pays to get out of jail.
The long-held 10 percent standard—with defendants or their loved ones paying a tenth of the bail amount to a private company—is not gospel anymore in Harris County and likely never was.
People have been securing their release from jail on lower fees for years, according to county data and bail agents ...
... Lowering rates would not be illegal, and part of that is because laws governing bail bonds industries are scant, said Lauryn Gouldin, a professor at the Syracuse University School of Law.
“The way the bail bonds industry has become a significant piece … in jurisdictions is not really something I think of being anticipated in any laws anyway,” she said ...