Reality TV Star Testifies On California Bail Legislation

America's most well-known bail bond agent went before a State Assembly committee on Tuesday to explain why he thinks a plan to eliminate California's cash bail system is not the way to help fix the criminal justice system.

Those in favor of the bill before the Assembly Public Safety Committee say the bail system allows wealthy people to get out of jail while poorer people are forced to stay locked up even if they're not dangerous or a risk they'll run off.TV's Dog The Bounty Hunter, Duane Chapman, says he and his fellow bondsman agree the system needs to be tweaked, but that to eliminate it can keep people from jobs they need to support their family.

Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK

Chapman says bail agents are more than guys who show up with bags of cash.  "We're psychiatrists, we're doctors, we're marriage counselors, we're taxi cabs," Chapman said. "We fill five or six different shoes.  They are our clients.  We're responsible for them, not only to go to court, but we get calls 24/7 about personal problems."

The bill got a 4-2 vote but it needs one more vote in the committee before it can move on.

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