• 72°

Decline in bail bond business blamed on COVID-19

By Shavonne Potts

shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A local bail bondsman says he estimates his business has seen a minimum of a 70% decline that he attributes to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It hit pretty hard,” said Ralph Young, owner of Unlock Me Bail Bonding.

“We’re seeing a definite decline in bonds being done. The scary part about that is once this thing turns and everything goes back to what we may want to say normal, I think what will happen is you will see more failure to appears,” Young said.

Once the restrictions loosen, he suspects more people won’t show up because some of the recent court appearances have been pushed out.

“They’re going to forget about their dates because they are pushed out so far,” Young said.

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley ordered a 30-day postponement of most district and superior courts in March. Some cases continued, including juvenile court and domestic violence-related matters.

Locally, Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten asked local law enforcement agencies to issue citations when appropriate, which in turn reduced the number of arrests and the need for bonds.

Another part of a bail bondsman’s job is locating people who have skipped out on bond, but Young said he didn’t have any.

He expects the industry won’t rebound quickly as the state restrictions loosen and more people return to their “normal” activities.

He said more citations will be coming for certain crimes.

“I don’t see why not, if it’s effective and if it’s working. It could be a way to handle the challenge of those who may not be able to pay a bond,” Young said.

“I think more than anything else it’s going to be a gradual process. It won’t be something that will rebound immediately at all. Since they change how they look at doing releases now. They will weigh all of the citations, pay attention to that data and decide how they will move forward with defendants,” Young said.

He said he is curious to see what will happen if the numbers of those who fail to appear will increase drastically if no bond is in place.

He also attributes the reduced crime rate in the last month or more to the pandemic.

Young said he believes the sheriff and his office have done a good job in reducing the jail population.

 

Comments

Local

Salisbury will make history with installation of marker commemorating 1906 lynchings

Local

More than 100 years later, family of World War I veteran receives medals, honors on his behalf

Local

Commissioners to schedule public hearing for Reaper’s Realm rezoning application

Coronavirus

COVID-19 deaths in county grow to 316 as Delta variant spreads

Local

David Freeze: More than expected happens on trip so far

Business

Opening of State Employees’ Credit Union is the fulfillment of a vision for Mary Ponds, Granite Quarry

Local

Swimming: Salisbury native DeSorbo coaching in Olympics

Local

‘Mr. Robert’ retires after 24 years serving children

Lifestyle

Library’s summer reading clock winding down

College

Catawba athletics: Busy fall planned

Local

Community Care Clinic receives grant that will improve its diagnostic capabilities

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber unveils theme for Total Resource Campaign

Elections

Candidates for local, state races talk with voters at Sloan Park

Education

Summer institute teachers receive $5,000 stipends, eligible for more bonuses

Nation/World

Mask guidance divides parents heading into new school year

Nation/World

Frustration as Biden, Congress allow eviction ban to expire

Crime

Salisbury Police charge 33 during narcotics roundup

Local

Crews respond to fire at Rowan County Landfill

Nation/World

$1 trillion infrastructure plan clears Senate hurdle

College

College-bound North Carolina football player shot to death

Legion baseball

American Legion baseball: Rowan bounces back behind Schenck, reaches semifinals today

Education

Johnson C. Smith, Pfeiffer universities among latest to pay off student debts

Kannapolis

American Legion baseball: Kannapolis ends season

Business

Evictions looming as Congress refuses to extend ban that expires today