ARAPAHOE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Online Surety Bonds
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNERS
Digital Services Product Manager, Arapahoe County Colorado
Senior Solutions Developer, Arapahoe County Colorado
In 2021 the Colorado Joint Assembly was created to act to assist defendants in securing release from jail through the bonding process. Among other improvements to a defendant's bonding experience the legislative change required, "[b]y January 1, 2022, each jail shall establish a means to pay bond online without the need for the payor to go to the jail in person to pay the bond."
The county determined the intention of the legislation was more than just paying a bond online, because the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) already had an online payment option. Therefore, the ACSO partnered with the Arapahoe County Information Technology Digital Services Team to create a 24-hour a day/seven-days a week online fully remote bond process for sureties (also known as payors). This initiative included creating a user-friendly and convenient set of tools that supported payors in looking up inmates' charges and bonds, selecting one or many bonds to request, submitting signed bond paperwork and verifications, and paying the bond any time of day from any location. Both bond agents and civilians may use the service to alleviate the need to travel to the jail, wait in line, and request and pay bonds in person.
The Arapahoe County, Colorado went above and beyond the letter of the statute to implement a fully electronic and remote bond process to ensure payors would be successful in posting bond from any location at any time of day. This achievement also benefits inmates in ensuring a quicker release because they do not have to wait for payors to travel to the detention center or wait in line. One civilian payor successfully used the online option to save a trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Centennial, Colorado an approximately 30-hour drive and 2,046 miles or an airline ticket and a 4 and 1/2 hour flight, which also resulted in a collateral cost savings to the payor and quicker release for the inmate.