Bail bondsmen endure tough rules, customers for their role in justice

Bail bondsman Tom Jones, left, stands with a client in front of Judge Cotton Walker during a court session in Jefferson City.

Bail bondsman Tom Jones, left, stands with a client in front of Judge Cotton Walker during a court session in Jefferson City. Photo by Deborah Cote.

Despite the Hollywood-like allure of cunningly capturing rogue clients after cross-country road trips, bail bonding is more about tests and paperwork.

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It takes a special type of person to be able to perform and tolerate the job — and make a living from it.

“The economy has hit us hard. People are having trouble coming up with the 10 percent to get out of jail,” said bail bondsman Rusty Cash.

Following a friend who planned to become a bondman, Cash began running his own business in 2004.

Though he has had to pursue a “very low” percentage of clients, Cash says that is the more enthralling aspect of his work.

“It’s 20 hours of boredom and 20 minutes of excitement,” he said.

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