09/30/2011 (press release: cjrcva) // Yorktown, VA, USA // Criminal Justice Reform Coalition
The Criminal Justice Reform Coalition is seeking substantive and sweeping reforms of the Virginia bail bonding industry following the arrest of Virginia bail bonding agent Macey Willis White, Jr., on charges of offering money for sex (multiple counts).
Macey Willis White, Jr., was arrested on September 28, 2011, after being indicted by a Circuit Court Grand Jury on 9/26/2011 on charges of offering money for sex (2 counts) and using a vehicle for sex (2 counts). The CJRC has learned from Court and law enforcement sources that the allegations in the indictment stem, at least in part, from allegations involving Mr. White’s official duties as a licensed bail bondsman. While we recognize that this is an indictment and Mr. White has an absolute right to a fair trial on these charges, it is the position of the Criminal Justice Reform Coalition that the bail bonding licenses of Mr. White and any sub agents under Mr. White’s operation should be immediately suspended until such time as the charges in this case are adjudicated. The CJRC has asked the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, the state agency which regulates licensed bail bondsmen, to issue a suspension of the licenses in this case. As of the time of this release, DCJS has yet to take this action, which the CJRC believes is important given the serious nature of the offenses charged.
Furthermore, the CJRC believes that any allegations involving a bail bondsman using his position for sex should result felony charges, as bail bonding clients are particularly vulnerable to predation. The charges in the indictment against Mr. White are all class 1 misdemeanors.
The CJRC respects the honorable job bail bonding agents across Virginia and the United States do every day, working on the front lines of the criminal justice system to insure that defendants have a mechanism to post bail and return to society. However, the bail industry and consumer protection groups, along with law enforcement and regulatory agencies, must take a proactive approach in seeking to eliminate unethical or illegal practices within the bail industry.
The CJRC calls upon the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to suspend the license of any bail agent charged with a crime involving their duties as a bail agent until such time as those charges are adjudicated. Further, the CJRC will support the creation and implementation of broad based and intensive ethics focused pre-licensing curriculum for bail bonding and bail enforcement agents in Virginia. Finally, the CJRC will support legislation in the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session to classify any crime involving the use of bail bonds for sexual activity a felony in the Commonwealth. The broad and sweeping reform legislation, which we hope will be supported by the bail industry, will seek to make violations of bail bond regulations, including soliciting on government property and charging illegal fees or interest, crimes under the Code of Virginia, which could then be investigated and prosecuted by law enforcement and prosecutors at the local level.
The Criminal Justice Reform Coalition is an education and outreach organization focused on advancing the cause of judicial reform at the state and federal levels, in an effort to reduce jail populations and reform the sentencing process to reduce recidivism and rehabilitate offenders. You can obtain more information about the CJRC by visiting our web site at www.criminaljusticereformcoalition.com.