"I don't really understand the concerns of the bail bondsmen," she said. "Because if you need [pretrial release], you don't have any money. That's the truth of it."
The bill also requires inmates to stay in jail for 48 hours before they are eligible for the pretrial release program, which would allow bonding agencies to do business with the defendants who have the means to immediately get out.
"I think it's where it leads to," said Phil Reale, a lobbyist for the American Bail Coalition. "If you have a liberally constructed pretrial release program, you may have a public safety issue in the community."
State monitored pretrial release programs have already been in operation since 2009, under a bill lawmakers passed last year that authorized the Supreme Court to establish up to five pilot projects.
Some pilots were more successful than others. Brooke County officials reported a 19 percent decrease in regional jail spending since 2009. Wood County's jail bill, however, went up 26 percent during that same time frame, according to a February Gazette report.
Counties were also not required to track some statistical information, like instances when pretrial release inmates fail to show up for their court dates, which advocates say generally determine whether a pretrial program is successful.
Cabell County Western Regional Day Report Center Director Chris Dean and Brooke County pretrial release coordinator Jim Lee said Wednesday that the failure to appear rates in their respective counties have hovered around one percent.
The bill also calls for the Supreme Court to set the administrative rules for the pretrial release programs under the new bill. It's not clear at this point whether failure to appear rates will be tracked.
"I think that's something the courts would probably look into," Canterbury said. "I would definitely be for that. Why not put that in the database?"
Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.tay...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.