Guiding clients out of jail and onto the path of recovery and healing
By Jillian Chandler
Dale Foss has a passion for helping people heal. Though one might not be quick to correlate a bail bondsman with this role, Dale is also an addiction counselor and utilizes his skills in both fields to not only help people get out of jail but to help direct them on a positive path moving forward.
“I am educated as a social worker and have worked in the mental health field a couple of different times,” shares Dale. “I've been a bail bondsman since 2005 and an addiction counselor since 2019. Addiction and mental health are extremely closely related, and both rooted in chaotic, stressful, repressive early age childhood environments.”
Today, Dale manages A&A Agency Bail Bonds in Sandpoint, which was purchased by Quick Release Bail Bonds in June of 2022. What sets Dale apart from others in the industry is his dual role as bail bondsman and addiction counselor. “Though I don't work as a counselor for any treatment facility, I’m an educator about addiction and hope to create awareness with clients as they're released from custody. I want to empower and inspire people to take the information I can provide and then ultimately find their own path out of addiction as I did. I strongly believe anyone, with proper guidance, can ultimately and effectively become their own counselor because they already have the answers to their pain inside of them. A good counselor simply assists a client in initially finding those answers, and it builds from there.”
Dale firmly believes that his role as an addiction counselor complements the work he does as a bail bondsman, as he realized a vast majority of those who are arrested are either committing crimes to get money to feed an addiction or are in active addiction. Dale has experienced addiction firsthand.
“I was once a partner in Quick Release Bail Bonds, and in 2015 I drank my way out of the business,” he reflects. “That led me back to my hometown of Hamilton, Montana, where I was able to find my way out of my addiction to alcohol. It was there that I became inspired to pursue an addiction counseling degree. I can relate to so many of my clients and feel I have something more to offer than simply getting them out of jail.”
For those who are unfamiliar with bail bonds and the role of a bail bondsman, it is this: A bail bond is a surety bond, which is posted by a bail bond company to the court as a guarantee for an arrestee's appearance at all court dates, or the bail bond company will put the arrestee back in custody. The court will release an arrestee from detention upon posting the bail bond. Bail bonds are underwritten and issued by licensed bail agents who act as the appointed representatives of licensed surety insurance companies. Bail bond companies are an extension of the court system and operate at no cost to the taxpayer.
Through his work, Dale finds it rewarding to have the opportunity to give back to others. “There was a day when I was trying to figure out a way to kill myself to stop drinking. Having survived that period of my life, I hope to let people know there is nothing ‘wrong’ with them; they don’t have a ‘disease’ or an inherited ‘genetic disorder.’ Most traditional addiction treatment agencies make addiction seem so complicated, which I don’t believe it is. Traditional treatment facilities run all their clients through the same program, which is why I feel the success rate isn’t very high percentage wise in terms of people staying free of addiction long term. My approach is more focused on the individual and the root cause of their pain because it’s unique to them.”
According to Dale, “Addiction is nothing more than a survival mechanism, a disconnect from and loss of true authentic self, an inability to manage emotions in certain situations most often bore out of childhood psychological wounds which affect us emotionally—commonly referred to as ‘trauma,’ which is indeed the Greek word for wound. I really like to simplify my approach to healing from emotional pain—which is at the root of any addiction, be it a substance or behavior. Addiction is addiction be it alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, etc. When the root cause of the individual’s pain is unearthed and subsequently healed, the person no longer ‘has’ to use or act out. It’s a process that takes some time and difficult inner work, but the effort is very worthwhile in the end. For me, this vocation is not about the money, it's about the individuals. That isn't true of all bail bond companies.”
Dale has been posting bonds in Bonner County for Quick Release since 2005. He moved to Sandpoint in November of 2022 because of the purchase of A&A Agency Bail Bonds, giving up his addiction counseling job to run Agency’s office. He credits the previous owner of A&A Agency Bail Bonds, Radd Raynor, in building the company into the honest and ethical business it’s known for. “I’ve known Radd for quite a few years, and Quick Release was interested in taking over for Radd when he retired because of his great reputation in this industry. He was a very honest and ethical bail bondsman who cared about the people in this community. I’d like to continue and build upon this reputation.”
Dale recognizes that, as a bail bondsman, he has a responsibility to the community to keep it safe. “I want to contribute in a positive manner to the community, not to profit off of other people’s pain,” he affirms. “This is my true passion, and this job is what I feel I was put on earth for.”
For those who would like to learn more about addiction and the root cause, Dale encourages them to search for Dr. Gabor Maté on YouTube and watch these two specific videos, which he also has his clients watch: Brain Development and Addiction and The Hungry Ghost, A Biopsychosocial Perspective on Addiction. “Dr. Maté has been a very valuable guide for me and has affirmed many perspectives I intuited in regards to addiction,” says Dale.
If you, or a loved one, is in need of a bail bondsman, Dale will be there to provide guidance, support and compassion.
A&A Agency Bail Bonds
819 Highway 2, Suite 213
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864