Money Bail

2016 ,    »  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 7.67/10 from 46 users.

The premiere episode of a new series from VICE, Money Bail takes a sharp look at America's bail bonds industry, and finds a system that's rigged to take advantage of many of the country's most troubled and destitute citizens.

Bail bondsmen are only permitted to operate in two parts of the world: the Phillipines and the United States. Vinne Magliano is one such bondsman. From his office in Baltimore, Maryland, Magliano is aggressive in marketing his services to many of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. He's determined to make his business a well-known brand, and he's the first in the area to offer payment plans to his clients. As a result, his profits total in the millions on a monthly basis. In a community hard hit by violent crime and racial injustice, many view his widespread self-promotion as a toxic ointment on a raw and infected wound.

We hear the story of Allen Bullock, a young teen who was captured by police after vandalizing a car during the recent riots and demonstrations in Baltimore. Upon his arraignment, Bullock's bail was set at $500,000, an astronomical sum of money especially considering the mild severity of his crime. In keeping with current bail regulations, his family had to pay at least 10% of that sum to procure his temporary release from jail. This down payment was not refundable, and in no way guaranteed a positive outcome in his case. In an all too common plight brought on by the industry, a family that was already struggling to make ends meet is thrown deeper into the well of financial ruin.

Critics of this practice have long championed the elimination of the bail industry altogether. But they face powerful opposition from well-funded lobbyists who successfully argue for the status quo each election cycle.

This trend does not apply In Washington, DC, however. As shown in the film, the bail industry has been abolished in the nation's capital. By all accounts, this approach has produced positive results. In stark contrast to the overcrowded prisons around much of the United States, their prisons are currently operating at 45% capacity.

Money Bail probes the consequences of a commercialized criminal justice system with great clarity.

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bill

    It is obvious to anyone with even slight intelligence, and no agenda, to see that the bail bond system is set up for profit making on the backs of the already poor and impoverished. That said, the bondsman from Baltimore named Vinnie is just uneducated about the facts but other than that seems to be a decent guy who truly believes he is helping society. The fascist bonds lady from NY is not a decent human being and knows exactly what she is doing. She is scum of the earth and she should be put in jail. She has an obvious disdain for the poor,meanwhile knows that she makes huge monetary gains off of their backs. She is a serious POS.

  2. 51purebred50
  3. 51purebred50

    Huh. Ya, anyway. You know, I bet over 90% of the population would not even think twice about starting up a bail bonds shop if they knew for a fact that they could make more then an above average salary. Not only that, but I bet 50% of them would even make sure people would get 'caught' in those neighborhoods they were 'targeting'. It's a f*cked up cycle, but human nature is human nature.......right?

  4. Gabriella
  5. Gabriella

    Don't want to pay bail bond? Easy solution. Don't break the law.

  6. Roy
  7. Roy

    It's the only system that works. Way better than any of Government's solutions. If the judges and the jails are defective, don't blame the Bail Bond system.

  8. Douglas
  9. Douglas

    Roy!....No one is blaming the bail bond system. There just trying to make a point that there are better ways to do it. America and I believe One other Country, are the only two countries to still have such a system, I guess the rest of the world better catch up quick then......LOL!....

  10. blaice
  11. blaice

    That permed out B has a special place in hell waiting for her. An absolutely horrendously ugly human being, inside and out.

  12. Rob
  13. Rob


    "Don't want to pay bail bond? Easy solution. Don't break the law."

    What about the people who haven't broken a law? Evidently you completely missed one of the main points in the video. Then you made a tired, hackneyed comment. Good for you.

  14. Face of Treason
  15. Face of Treason

    I had to stop this video this red headed loud, foul mouth P.O.S. want's tell them she cares Yeah right she sounds and acts like a street hooker. Maybe where she started.I rated this video on her level of class 01 only because I had to give it something.


    This docu-drama never mentions that every person being held in jail has committed a crime or has been accused of committing a crime. The young man that smashed the car window and was looting was not an innocent. The bail was excessive and the bail bondsman DID NOT set that bail a judge did.
    Here is the thing that everyone needs to remember about going to jail and bailing out. For a bondsman it does not stop there. That bondsman has to make sure the defendant appears EVERYTIME he/she has a court date. If someone get out of jail without a bond AKA: own recognizance , there is nothing in place to make sure that person returned to court. When that happens, guess who pays for it.......YOU DO!! Every Tax payer in the county will end up footing the bill for going soft on crime. There is a limited purpose for pre-trial release. YOU don't want the guy that broke into your house back on the street in 5 hours do you?

  18. Vernon
  19. Vernon

    First of all - that "red headed b-word" her name is Michelle. Second of all-that video doesn't show Michelle buying breakfast for the 10 to 15 homeless people hanging out in front of her office every morning Only ignorant people will actually buy into that video. I'm a bail bondsman and I too will go the hell off on my client- if they don't do what they're supposed to do. Not because I'm an asshole - but because I care. PRETRIAL IS NOT FREE !! Where do you think the state gets the money ??? OUR TAX DOLLARS. It's amazing to me that people bitch and moan about some people getting welfare but don't care about this. I guess because it's common knowledge welfare comes from tax money. So let me educate the ignorant, unknowing people - PRETRIAL IS JAIL WELFARE. WE ALL PAY FOR IT

  20. Vernon
  21. Vernon

    One last thing - yes we bail bondsmen make money off getting people out of jail. But so do judges, attorneys, police officers. And to the ignorant people who don't have a clue - BAIL BONDSMEN ARE THE ONLY ONES NOT PAID FROM TAX DOLLARS.

  22. TomazZzz
  23. TomazZzz


    You are totally right. Bondsman are the only ones payed by the people that don't have the money anyway.
    Why would their family usually put up their houses for the bond?
    Because in most cases that is the very last thing they own.

  24. k1w1 Rob
  25. k1w1 Rob

    Poor Vernon and Laurie Poole... just like Gabriella you have also missed one of the main points made in the video, which is the inequity of this bail nonsense that goes on in USA.

    Laurie, that young man smashed a car window; meanwhile a cop killed a person. Do you recall their respective bails?

    And Vernon, your pathetic defence of the bondsman would be laughable except for the fact that Congress listens to your lobby and hasn't put you out of business.

  26. Richard
  27. Richard

    @Vernon When you consider that the money given to the bondsman usually depletes a family's funds, and they no longer have money for a competent attorney, getting instead a public pretender, which is paid for by the state, your statement holds no water.

  28. Catherine Todd
  29. Catherine Todd

    What an incredible film.

    I had no idea that only the Philippines and the USA were using the bail bond system. Finding out that people could sit for 3 years or more in jail without even being charged with a crime or going to court because they had no money to pay their bail shocked me to the core, as did the suicide by that young man that refused to "take a plea" just so he could finally get out of jail when he couldn't make his bail. Our system is so wrong on so many levels.

    I commend the senator who is trying to put an end to the bail bond system and the cities who have outlawed it. May everyone do so, soon!

  30. Amy Dee
  31. Amy Dee

    This doc opened my eyes. We jail too many people in the first place. If we really care about the American people than we help them vs throwing them away; remember people, those getting into trouble ate Americans as well. It's also a proven fact that many get locked up for crimes they didn't commit. If we can successfully switch it up so there's no "pay for play" I'm all for it. Also, keys just be clear and real ... everyone is a criminal. Is like to meet an individual that hasn't broken the law in ANY manner. What they're is is several individuals who weren't caught. We all should want the best America possible.

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