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Pretrial - Detention Impacts

  • document preview of Pretrial Detention and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 1995-2010

    Pretrial Detention and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 1995-2010

    This report “[p]resents findings on general trends in pretrial detention and misconduct in the federal district courts between fiscal years 1995 and 2010. The report highlights trends in the number of defendants released and detained pretrial and examines the changing composition of defendants with federal pretrial dispositions, including the increase in defendants charged with immigration violations and the growth of defendants with serious criminal backgrounds. It examines the relationships between pretrial detention and the type of charge and the criminal...

  • document cover of Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention

    Presumption of Guilt: The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention

    "Around the world, millions are effectively punished before they are tried. Legally entitled to be considered innocent and released pending trial, many accused are instead held in pretrial detention, where they are subjected to torture, exposed to life threatening disease, victimized by violence, and pressured for bribes. It is literally worse than being convicted: pretrial detainees routinely experience worse conditions than sentenced prisoners. The suicide rate among pretrial detainees is three times higher than among convicted prisoners, and ten times...

  • document cover of The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention

    The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention

    "The release-and-detention decision takes into account a number of different concerns, including protecting the community, the need for defendants to appear in court, and upholding the legal and constitutional rights afforded to accused persons awaiting trial. It carries enormous consequences not only for the defendant but also for the safety of the community ... Using data from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this research investigates the impact of pretrial detention on 1) pretrial outcomes (failure to appear and arrest for new...

  • document cover for Investigating the Impact of Pretrial Detention on Sentencing Outcomes

    Investigating the Impact of Pretrial Detention on Sentencing Outcomes

    "Each time a person is arrested and accused of a crime, a decision must be made as to whether the accused person, known as the defendant, will be detained in jail awaiting trial or will be released back into the community. But pretrial detention is not simply an either-or proposition; many defendants are held for a number of days before being released at some point before their trial. The release-and-detention decision takes into account a number of different concerns, including...

  • document preview for Analyzing Bond Supervision Survey Data: The Effects of Pretrial Detention on Self-Reported Outcomes

    Analyzing Bond Supervision Survey Data: The Effects of Pretrial Detention on Self-Reported Outcomes

    This study's aim is to "shed more light on what the impact of pretrial detention may be on several non-Criminal Justice related outcomes. If we can gain a better understanding of the effects of pretrial detention, even detention for relatively short periods (e.g., less than three days), policy regarding risk-based decisions can be informed. Likewise there is benefit in further examining the “more than” vs. “less than” three days of pretrial incarceration in light of recent research that has already...

  • NCSL Pretrial Detention (2013)

    "States provide most defendants the opportunity for release prior to trial. Pretrial detention is limited to only those charged with the most serious crimes and other specified circumstances such as violating conditions of, or committing a new crime while on pretrial release."

  • Pretrial Detention and the Right to Be Monitored (2014)

    "Although detention for dangerousness has received far more attention in recent years, a significant number of non-dangerous but impecunious defendants are jailed to ensure their presence at trial due to continued, widespread reliance on a money bail system."

  • Pretrial Detention and Jail Capacity in California (2015)

    "California’s persistently overcrowded jails are facing additional challenges now that public safety realignment has shifted many lower-level offenders from state prisons to county supervision. Jail capacity challenges are prompting a reconsideration of California’s heavy reliance on holding unsentenced defendants in jail pending trial—known as pretrial detention. The legal rationale for pretrial detention is to ensure court appearances and preserve public safety. But California’s high rates of pretrial detention have not been associated with lower rates of failure to appear or lower levels of felony rearrests. This report concludes that pretrial services programs—if properly implemented and embraced by the courts, probation...

  • The Effects of Pre-Trial Detention on Conviction, Future Crime, and Employment: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Judges (2016)

    "Over 20 percent of prison and jail inmates in the United States are currently awaiting trial, but little is known about the impact of pre-trial detention on defendants. This paper uses the detention tendencies of quasi-randomly assigned bail judges to estimate the causal effects of pre-trial detention on subsequent defendant outcomes. Using data from administrative court and tax records, we find that being detained before trial significantly increases the probability of a conviction, primarily through an increase in guilty pleas. Pre-trial detention has no detectable effect on future crime, but decreases pre-trial crime and failures to appear in court. We...

  • Decision Points: Disproportionate Pretrial Detention of Blacks and Latinos Drives Mass Incarceration (2016)

    "Politicians across the spectrum have begun advocating for criminal justice reforms to reduce the prison population in the United States. Until recently, the dysfunctional bail process has not been at the forefront of the national discussion, even though the most common form of bail - cash bonds or financial release - produces jail overcrowding and fuels mass incarceration. In addition, money-based bail systems cause significant racial and ethnic disparities in pretrial detention and beyond. As Judge Andre Davis recently observed, “Many of the racial and ethnic disparities that appear at the back end of the criminal justice system are actually...

  • The Downstream Consequences of Misdemeanor Pretrial Detention (2016)

    "In misdemeanor cases, pretrial detention poses a particular problem because it may induce otherwise innocent defendants to plead guilty in order to exit jail, potentially creating widespread error in case adjudication."

  • The End of Debtors’ Prisons: Effective Court Policies for Successful Compliance with Legal Financial Obligations (2016)

    Conference of State Court Administrators.
    The focus of this paper is a set of recommendations from COSCA regarding specific policies and practices that courts can adopt to minimize the negative impact of LFOs [legal financial obligations] while ensuring accountability for individuals who violate the law.

  • The Immediate Consequences of Pretrial Detention: Evidence from Federal Criminal Cases (2017)

    "This paper presents evidence of the effects of pretrial detention status on criminal case outcomes in federal criminal cases. I find that criminal defendants who are released pending trial earn a roughly 72 percent decrease in sentence length and a 36 percentage-point increase in the probability of receiving a sentence below the recommended federal sentencing Guidelines range. Pretrial release also reduces the probability that a defendant will receive at least the mandatory minimum sentence—when one is charged—by 39 percentage points, but does not affect the probability that the defendant will face a mandatory minimum sentence. To address the identification problem...

  • Audit of the Department’s Use of Pretrial Diversion and Diversion-Based Court Programs as Alternatives to Incarceration (2016)

    "The Smart on Crime initiative, announced by the Department of Justice (Department) in August 2013, highlighted five principles to reform the federal criminal justice system by, among other things, ensuring just punishments for low level, non-violent offenders. Smart on Crime encouraged federal prosecutors in appropriate cases involving non-violent offenders to consider alternatives to incarceration such as pretrial diversion and diversion-based court programs where appropriate. Pretrial diversion and diversion-based court programs are alternatives to prosecution or incarceration that enable certain low-level and non-violent offenders to be diverted from traditional criminal justice proceedings, with the result being that the offender may receive...

  • The Immediate Consequences of Federal Pretrial Detention (2019)

    This paper examines the effects of pretrial detention on case outcomes in federal criminal cases. Unlike cash-bail regimes that are prevalent in state courts, federal courts rarely use money bail as a condition of pretrial release. Nonetheless, this paper documents significant effects of pretrial detention for federal criminal defendants. Using data spanning 71 federal district courts, I present evidence that pretrial release reduces a defendant’s sentence increases the probability that they will receive a sentence below the recommended sentencing range. Pretrial release also appears to lessen the probability that a defendant will receive a mandatory minimum sentence when one is...

  • Gatekeepers (2019)

    Police in America arrest millions of people each year, and the likelihood that arrest will lead to jail incarceration has increased steadily. Ending mass incarceration and repairing its extensive collateral consequences thus must begin by focusing on the front end of the system: police work. Recognizing the roughly 18,000 police agencies around the country as gatekeepers of the system, this report explores the factors driving mass enforcement, particularly of low-level offenses; what police agencies could do instead with the right community investment, national and local leadership, and officer training, incentives, and support; and policies that could shift the policing paradigm...