America's Commercial Bail Bond Business: Background information when reading The Prophet

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The Prophet

By Michael Koryta

The Prophet
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2012,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2013,
    432 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
America's Commercial Bail Bond Business

In The Prophet Adam Austen is a licensed commercial bail bondsman. It is a profession unique to only two countries in the world, the United States and the Philippines (a former U.S. colony).

Bail Cartoon Other countries use a variety of methods to ensure that defendants will show up for a court date. For example, in the UK, in the case of serious crimes such as murder, defendants will likely be kept in jail; but in most other cases defendants are released back into the community "on bail" with or without restrictions (such as limits on where they can travel) and with the knowledge that failure to attend court will add an additional crime to their record. In some cases, defendants (or people standing surety for them) are required to pay a penalty if they don't show up for their court date, but the difference between this and the U.S. is that very rarely is this surety paid up front, and it is never paid by a commercial bail bondsman.

In the United States, however, a judge may set what is ...

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