Comments by swunderkind

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Posted on July 7 at 11:51 p.m.

Jail Population is at 120% while Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc Bail Bondsmen report a 90% -YES, NINETY PER CENT! -decline in business since Sheriff Brown took office…If you wanted to set out to overcrowd the Jails, one of the most immediate and effective ways to do it would be to deny release on bail bond to all inmates who are eligible for it…
There is compelling evidence (accounts by criminal defense attorneys and inmates; official records) that inmates are routinely subjected to ADMINISTRATIVE DELAYS of their release from custody, or are illegally denied the right to bail out, which directly exacerbates the very OVERCROWDING at the Jails which the Sheriff has cited as the justification for a TAX to build a new Jail to -you guessed it- alleviate the OVERCROWDING. Although the allegations have been brought to the attention of the media and the powers that be, no one to date has taken the Sheriff to task on the issue.
. Recall the lawsuit filed earlier this year by local Bail Bondsmen against the Sheriff . The Lawsuit, to be fair, was dismissed on procedural grounds, but the allegations made in it were not thoroughly aired in court.

It was alleged that, beginning shortly after Sheriff Brown took office, call volume to the Bondsmen began to drop off.
The tactics allegedly being employed include:
-Ordering inmates who are ELIGIBLE FOR BAIL and in the middle of a phone call attempting to arrange for release on Bond, to hang up the phone so that they may be assigned a uniform and be housed until their first court date, rather than be released immediately, as is their right if eligible for bail;
-Holding inmates in cells with no telephones, or with telephones that do not work, making it impossible to call a bondsman or anyone else, for that matter, for up to 24 hours at a time and allowing persistent and recurring technical problems to chronically deny inmates their right to complete the free calls to the outside which are guaranteed by law;
-Ignoring Bail Bonds that have already been posted at the Jail’s front desk, and either sending the inmates in question on the bus to court. In one such instance a legal resident had her bond ignored, was taken to court, and then had an Immigration Hold, which does not apply to legal residents, placed on her, needlessly extending her time in custody.
-Allegedly lying to inmates by telling them that their Bail Bond has not yet been posted by their Bond Agent. In such cases inmates then call to complain to the Bail Agent, who produces documentation that the Bond indeed was posted, in some cases hours earlier.
It could very well be that allowing all inmates unimpeded access to bail would bring the Jail population down from 120% to, say, 100%, which would mean the end of overcrowding, and with that the evaporation of the justification for the new Jail…

On Big Love for Sheriff Bill

Posted on November 3 at 1:20 a.m.

correction: that many, possiblyhundreds, of people have allegedly been denied their right to complete three phone calls, and use them to bail out of jail by calling a bail agent?

On Interview with Sheriff Bill Brown

Posted on November 3 at 1:13 a.m.

Sheriff Brown made no mention of the fact that he is being sued, and that a significant portion of the overcrowding is due to the fact that many, possiblyhundreds, of people have been denied their right to complete three phone calls, and use them to bail out of jail by calling a bail agent?
You see, CA Penal Code Section 851.5 makes it a crime for the calls to be denied, which is what is has happened in many, many cases, due to "technical" problems with the phone service, provided by Securus, a company which has been fined $8.1 in Florida, has been sued in other states, and is now being sued by a competitor for alleged illegal business practices.
No one can figure out why the Sheriff, who faces the prospect of another lawsuit in this matter, has chosen to continue his relationship with Securus. Stay tuned, the media will be breaking a big story on this soon.

On Interview with Sheriff Bill Brown

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