Schools and Colleges with Bail Bonding Programs: How to Choose

Bail bond agents write agreements that pledge money for criminal defendants to be released from jail before trial and that guarantee the defendant's appearance in court. Many accredited colleges across the U.S. offer bail bond training programs, but private, non-accredited companies also offer training and certificate programs.

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How to Select a Bail Bonding Program

Bond agents are typically regulated by a state's department of insurance, which requires training, work experience and licensure of all individuals employed in the field. Several states require bond agents to have a year or more of experience working in a bail bond company prior to being eligible for a licensure examination. For this reason, work experience requirements should be fulfilled prior to beginning a training program.

Summary of Considerations

  • Licensure preparation
  • State compliance
  • Type of training
  • Program length and schedule

Licensure Preparation

Because most states require bail bond agents to be licensed, students must first determine whether a school's program conforms to state licensure guidelines. While each state has different requirements, most require bond agents to sit for an examination to be licensed. As such, a program should prepare students to take the state's exam.

State Compliance

Some programs that do not entirely comply with state requirements have established relationships with other schools to ensure a complete program. When attending these programs, students must take additional coursework at another school. While these combined programs often prepare students for licensure examinations, there may be additional costs associated with taking classes at two different schools. Moreover, students may find the length of a program extended due to needing to organize and schedule classes at both schools.

Type of Training

Another important factor to consider when choosing a bail bond program is whether it trains bail bond agents or bail enforcement agents. The two are different positions with unique training and licensure requirements. Bond agents write bond agreements and are not permitted to track and arrest defendants who do not comply with bail agreements or who fail to appear in court. While bond agents are trained in the use of firearms, they are not trained in arrest tactics.

Program Length and Schedule

Students should also consider a program's length and schedule. Some programs are offered on evenings and weekends, with some class components taken at home or online. Depending on the program, students may be able to work while studying.

Bail Bond Agent Training and Certificate Programs Overview

Private training companies often award a certificate of completion to graduates of the bond agent program, but these certificates are not the equivalent of completing college course credit hours. Program length can be extended if a student is required to complete at-home coursework or instruction not included in the program, such as firearms training. Program instruction generally includes:

  • Legal and liability issues
  • Safety
  • History of the field
  • Handcuffing
  • Gun training
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