Craighead County bail bond payment system goes digital
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Posting bail in Craighead County will now be as easy as one swipe of a credit or debit card.
Starting next week, detainees will be able to bail themselves out at the Craighead County Detention Center and the Jonesboro Police Department.
“Sheriff Boyd wanted to find an alternative for taking cash bond payments. He believed someone in jail should be able to bail themselves out of jail,” Craighead County District Court Clerk Joe Monroe said.
Region 8 spoke on the phone with Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd who said, “This new system will benefit all parties involved. It will make for smoother operation and more accurate accountability.”
This is the first time detainees in the county have been able to do this and Monroe said Craighead County is one of the last in the area to offer this option.
“We have such a high volume of bonds coming in that we’ve never had time to look at it,” Monroe said.
But now, Monroe said he is glad they made time.
“Before, two o’clock in the morning, calling the bondsman, getting the bondsman out here, that could take several hours. Now, it takes one to two minutes before the bond payment is in the hand of the jail,” Monroe said.
Detainees will enter their personal information, the charges, the ticket number, the amount of the ticket, and their credit or debit card information.
The detainee almost immediately receives a receipt in an e-mail or text message.
The district court also receives the payment notification within seconds.
“The money goes directly in to the district court account. Before, if someone posted a cash bond at the sheriff’s office, it might take up to two weeks before we would receive it. Saves a lot of labor. A lot of labor. And accounting purposes, too,” Monroe said.
Monroe said the system does not cost county residents a penny.
The new system charges all detainees a seven percent service charge fee for every transaction.
“They do round up so if you’re here on a $205 cash bond, it would be $219. There’s a $14 service fee. But it’s still cheaper than going through a bail bondsman, who gets ten percent. But it’s still cheaper than going through a bail bondsman, who gets ten percent,” Monroe said.
Right now, you can only access this payment system on a computer at the county jail or the Jonesboro Police Department.
“Eventually, we would like to see it go on to a website. For instance, someone being in college from California and gets picked up for college student stuff, where grandma or mom and dad, out in California, could get on the website and bail the detainee out,” Monroe said.
Monroe said defendants will also be able to show proof of their bond on a mobile device now when they appear in court.