Bond agents fear for jobs with Governor Malloy’s justice reform

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Bond Enforcement Agent Lisa Yulo has been cuffing criminals for 12 years across the state.

“I have been referred to on the streets as ‘Little Bit.’ I kinda got that from a fugitive’s mother,” said Yulo.

She’s petite, but she’s taken down some big guys.

“This is what I do. This is how I support my family and I enjoy doing this,” said Yulo.

When she heard about Governor Dan Malloy’s new Second Chance society bill Yulo said, “My first concern was public safety.”

It’s now in the Senate. A portion of it focuses on low-level offenders who cost taxpayers by sitting behind bars. Malloy’s Under Sec. Criminal Justice Policy Mike Lawlor helped create the policy which is also being adopted in other nearby states.

“We’re starting a process where we identify low-risk, low-level offenders making sure they’re not sitting around in jail because that’s very expensive and make sure the high risk guys are kept locked up,” said Lawlor.

With this bill, Lawlor says more non-violent misdemeanor criminals would be let out with a a “promise to appear”. In 2015 about 60% of all the offenders who did not come back to court were given a “promise to appear.” The bill would also let some offenders pay 10% of their bail to the court instead of with a bond agent like the Immediate Past Present of Bail Assoc. of Connecticut, Andrew Bloom.

“There’s insurance for the court that we will make sure this guy shows up. No other form of pre-trial release has that,” said Bloom.

Lawlor disagrees with Bloom.

“They have probation officers that are part of it, we have bail commissioners that are part of it. We have a very extensive system to track people while their cases are pending and if they don’t show up we have a way to get them,” said Lawlor.

At least 60% of Yulo’s business is misdemeanor crimes. She says this puts about 1,000 jobs in the state in jeopardy.

“We are going to lose a lot business,” said Yulo.

“We have 22 people in our company that would all be put out of work if this bill went through as written,” said Bloom.

The bond enforcement agents say there is some hope. They’re working with some Senate democrats to try and change this bill.

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