Bounty Hunting History

The pursuit of fugitives for a bounty, or Bounty Hunting, became a profitable pursuit in 1679 when England’s Habeas Corpus Act guaranteed the release of accused criminals for a monetary sum.  This condition was written into the American Constitution as the Eighth Amendment and the jurisdiction of the Bounty Hunter was defined in 1872 in the court case of Taylor vs. Taintor, allowing Bounty Hunters to pursue fugitives across state lines and enter their premises to detain them if they had skipped their court date after being released on bail.

Historically, Bounty Hunters were often stereotyped as a group of renegades.  An individual or group of individuals would track wanted fugitives and collect a cash reward in return for this particular runner, dead or alive.  In past year’s law enforcement did not have the resources to skip trace wanted fugitives across the thousands of miles that make up the United States. As a result, officials of the law put a bounty on the criminal that they wanted detained.  With increasingly high stakes growing with the danger of the outlaws, these unofficial law enforcement agents soon realized that Bounty Hunting could become a prosperous business.

Since Taylor vs. Taintor, however, new laws, such as the 1966 Bail Reform Act, have changed the terms of Bounty Hunting.  Bounty Hunters are no longer allowed free reign to detain fugitives in any way they please.  Now, Bail Enforcement Agents must abide by state and local laws while seeking a deserter.  And now, with over 30,000 criminals being detained by Bounty Hunters every year, more bail bond companies than ever are looking to hire fugitive recovery agents.  Nevertheless these bond companies will not just hire any person who wants to become a Bounty Hunter.  The rapid return of criminals is necessary for bail companies to receive bond money, and this takes highly skilled Bounty Hunters.  Bounty Hunting has become a highly specialized occupation with specific training and skills that can help you become an effective Bounty Hunter. 

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