Doing Bond Together: Agents, Support Networks, and the Multiple Costs of Affording Bail

Awarded Scholars:
Faith Deckard, University of Texas at Austin
Project Date:
Jul 2022
Award Amount:

While the crisis of mass incarceration has been a focus of national debates, less is understood about the cash bail system. Defendants disproportionately come from low-income backgrounds and cannot afford the full bond amount for pre-trial release;  instead, they often seek out commercial bail bond agreements where they pay a portion of the total bail amount. As few low-income defendants have the resources to enter bail bond agreements on their own, many rely heavily on cosigners -- usually a family member, romantic partner, or close friend. Sociologist Faith Deckard will examine how commercial bail bond agreements impact defendants’ relationships with their bond cosigners. She will conduct in-depth interviews and participant observation for her study.


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