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CJCJ Research Report

  • Pretrial Services: An Effective Alternative to Monetary Bail

    "In an attempt to reduce jail overcrowding, attention is turning to the 63 percent of people held in county jails who have not been convicted of a crime. Many of these people are waiting for their day in court in jail - not because they pose a risk to public safety, but simply because they cannot afford to post bail ... This publication examines the challenges of relying on a monetary bail system and highlights existing solutions, such as pretrial services, that save money, reduce racial disparities, alleviate jail bed space, and promote public safety" (p. 1-2). Sections of this report cover: background on the monetary bail system; use of monetary bail creates income and racial disparities; bail release definitions; pretrial detention results in adverse outcomes; collateral consequences; a cash-dependent system does not promote public safety; pretrial services are effective alternatives to monetary bail; and in California's post-Realignment era.