(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 10/05/98)
Starting this week, Santa Clara County will offer some suspects an
interactive kiosk where they can use a credit card to get out of the slammer
within minutes of being booked.
It's like an automatic teller machine, but instead of dispensing cash it
grants instant access out of jail.
The heaviest use is expected from those arrested for relatively minor crimes
with bails under $5,000 - well within the limit many people carry on their
credit cards. Crimes will include vandalism, assault, drunken driving and drug
County officials said the bail kiosks will reduce taxpayer costs and jail
Bail bondsmen claim the service is illegal because it's not state-licensed,
like they must be. They also complain that it's unfair competition.