More than a third of all criminals arrested in Orange County, Fla., and charged with assaulting police officers, beating pregnant women and other serious felony charges bond out of jail in less than 24 hours, and many post bail without ever appearing before a judge. Police complain that a lenient bail-setting system allows inmates to quickly get out of the Orange County Jail, reports the Orlando Sentinel. But judges blame the cops, saying they are responsible for alerting court officials when dangerous criminals should be kept behind bars.
That finger-pointing can lead to dire consequences: People who bail out sometimes commit new crimes or disappear. A Sentinel review of nearly 1,500 booking records, for the time period between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, shows that almost one-third were felony arrests. About 36 percent of suspects arrested on felony charges bailed out in less than 24 hours.