An order from Administrative Judge John Herron eases restrictions on the operation of private bail bondsmen in the city, a practice abolished in the 1960s over abuse concerns.
The Philadelphia Inquirer ( http://bit.ly/IDy2U1) reports that starting Monday fugitives who skip court appearances will appear before a new Bench Warrant Court where they could see jail time for failing to appear, with penalties growing more severe for repeat offenders.
State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille and Justice Seamus McCaffery say the changes are intended to crack down on rampant bail jumping.
The Inquirer reported in 2010 the city had more than 47,000 long-term fugitives and was owed more than $1 billion in forfeited bail.
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com