bail and bounty
This week’s FOIA round-up: the ethics of mining in Minnesota, problems with for-profit companies in the legal system, and ICE detention records contradict Trump administration statements on migrants
In this week’s FOIA round-up, calendars and emails reveal communication between Trump administration officials and corporate executives in a mining project, a contract with a private pretrial services firm raises questions about the role of for-profit companies in the legal system, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention records reveal that rates of people detained with criminal records has decreased in the past couple of years. Also, a Supreme Court ruling is bad news for people seeking government records pertaining to private entities.
Louisiana Department of Insurance complaints highlights growing problems in the bail and bounty industry
Since 2009, the Louisiana Department of Insurance has recorded 247 complaints against bail enforcement agents, also called bounty hunters. The list of reasons given on the spreadsheet provided indicate that the wide range of problems that exist in an industry notoriously free of oversight, and range from abusive behavior to outright theft.
459 pages of complaints from the Nevada Division of Insurance (NDOI) related to bail bondsman point to epidemic in the state: bounty hunters in a largely unregulated industry are routinely using that vacuum to line their own pockets or abuse their customers.
In the process of continuing our investigation on the world of bail enforcement, we have uncovered the horrifying case of Curtis Maroney, a South Carolina bounty hunter who for years abused his position to extort women for manual labor and sexual favors.
After filing near 50 public records requests tracking regulations that may or may not exist on bail enforcement agents (also commonly called bail recovery agents or bounty hunters), is that the industry is almost entirely devoid of any meaningful oversight. A perfect illustration of this comes to us from North Dakota’s Insurance Department, which helpfully provided a lone audio file concerning a violent struggle by an unlicensed bounty hunter team, and a single complaint written by a woman whose brother had experienced the wrath of an abusive bail agent.