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Unsecured Bonds: The Most Effective and Efficient Pretrial Release Option

If your pretrial agency is looking for solid empirical evidence about the effectiveness of unsecure bonds compared to secure bonds in safeguarding public safety, you need to read this report. “Findings support judicial officers changing their practices to use more unsecured releases, to include unsecured bonds if currently permitted by law, to achieve the same public safety and court appearance rates while using far fewer jail beds. These unsecured bonds could be used in conjunction with an individualized bond setting hearing” (p. 3). Results show that: unsecured bonds work as good as secured bonds at ensuring public safety, court appearances, and fugitive return; unsecured bonds work better at reducing jail bed use in that more defendants can post their bonds and these individuals have quicker release times; and secured bonds increase jail bed use but not court appearance rates.