In the coming weeks, N.C. Policy Watch will take a closer look at the bail industry, its effects on the lives of North Carolinians and what it costs the state and its county court systems.
Today: A look at some numbers related to the industry and its most recent controversies.
$1.5 million – Approximate amount out of which bail agents are alleged to have defrauded Wake County courts through a scheme to falsify records in court computers that involved the Wake County court clerk. The money, from forfeited bonds, would ultimately have gone to the Wake County Public School System.
307 – The number of cases between 2008 and 2013 in which it is alleged records were falsified to show bondsmen had paid bonds for criminal defendants who failed to show up in court. The bondsmen had not paid the bonds.
85 – Approximate number of people associated with the bail industry in N.C. who are known to have have been convicted of, or are under indictment for, serious crimes. The charges include bail forfeiture, unlicensed bail bonding work, sex with customers and manslaughter. In one case in Guilford County, a bail agent faces charges for allegedly filing a fraudulent death certificate for a man who skipped bail while facing drug dealing charges.
$200,000 – Amount in bail forfeitures that led to charges of fraud against bail agents in Guilford County last year. One case, involving two bail agents, accounts for more than $107,000 by itself.
$270,000 – Total of political contributions made in North Carolina by the bail bond industry between 2002 and 2011.
$93,637 – Total of political contributions made in North Carolina by the bail bond industry between 2010 – 2016.
60 – Number of laws “helping N.C. bondsmen make and save more money and protect their livelihood” for which the North Carolina Bail Agents Association takes credit for having helped to pass.
479 – Number of licensed bail industry professionals in North Carolina in 1986, including surety bail bondsmen, professional bail bondsmen and bail bond runners.
1,746 – Number of licensed bail industry professionals in North Carolina in 2017, including surety bail bondsmen, professional bail bondsmen and bail bond runners.
265 percent – The increase in number of bail industry professionals in North Carolina between 1986 and 2017. In that time the North Carolina population increased by 63 percent.