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January 21, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Gary L. Gehman
Bail Bondsmen, Bounty Hunters and Private Prisons
Free Enterprise and the Criminal Justice System
Last Featured: 4/21/2008

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

America’s free enterprise system is at work in many aspects of the criminal justice system. Profit-making bail bondsmen who help defendants post the money needed for their freedom pending trial are common in the U.S. but virtually unheard of across the rest of the world. Bounty hunters lured by big payouts find criminals who have previously eluded the police. And private companies are building and operating prisons and detention facilities. Tune in to this edition of Justice Talking where we ask whether profit and justice can mix. Should governments that are more transparent and accountable to the public operate these programs? Or are the advantages of American ingenuity that are a key part of private enterprise too good to pass up?

Criminal Justice and the Profit Motive
Host Margot Adler speaks with economics professor Alex Tabarrok about profit-making in the criminal justice system.

Alex Tabarrok is an economics professor at George Mason University and Research Director for the Independent Institute.

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A Former Prisoner's Perspective
Host Margot Adler speaks with anti-privatization advocate Alex Friedmann on his experience being incarcerated in both state and private prisons.

Alex Friedmann is the vice president of the Private Corrections Institute and associate editor of Prison Legal News.

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Debate: Are Private Prisons a Better Option for States?
State Representative Liane "Buffie" McFadyen and private prison administrator Louise Grant debate the impact of for-profit private prisons.

Liane is a State Representative from Colorado, and has represented Colorado House District 47 since 2003.

Louise Grant is vice president of Marketing and Communications for the Corrections Corporation of America, the country’s largest operator of private prisons.

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A Bail Bondsman's Perspective
Host Margot Adler speaks with bail agent Gene Newman about the intricacies of the bail bond industry.

Gene Newman is a bail agent who owns and operates AAA Bonding Company in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a former president of Professional Bail Agents of the United States.

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A Bounty Hunter Speaks Out
Host Margot Adler speaks with bounty hunter Frank Abramovitz about the misconceptions surrounding his profession.

Frank Abramovitz owns AMK Investigations and has been a bail enforcement agent for 20 years. He is also a former police officer.

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Abolish Bail Bonds?
Host Margot Adler speaks with bail reform advocate Tim Murray about why he believes the bail bond system should be abolished.

Tim Murray is the executive director of the Pre-Trial Justice Institute. He has also helped to develop standards on bail-related issues for the American Bar Association.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Eighth Amendment
Bail Bond Fairness Act
Bail Reform Act (acrobat PDF file)
Private Prison Information Act
Federal Bureau of Prisons
National Enforcement Agency
Sentencing Project
Alliance for Justice
Changing the Guard: Private Prisons and the Control of Crime
by Charles H. Logan and Alexander Tabarrok
Prison Profiteers: Who Makes Money from Mass Incarceration
by Tara J. Herivel and Paul Wright
Private Prisons in America: A Critical Race Perspective
by Michael A. Hallett and Randall Shelden
You Can Run But You Can't Hide
by Duane Dog Chapman
The Right to a Jury Trial
Innovations in Policing
Juvenile Justice 40 Years After In Re Gault