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NCJ Number: NCJ 240668     Find in a Library
Title: Bail Fail: Why the U.S. Should End the Practice of Using Money for Bail
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Melissa Neal
Corporate Author: Justice Policy Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 09/2012
Page Count: 56
  Annotation: This report by the Justice Policy Institute investigates the practice of using money for bail in the U.S. criminal justice system.
Abstract: This report, compiled by the Justice Policy Institute, examines the problems that arise from the use of money alone as a mechanism for obtaining pretrial release. The authors assert that the use of money as the primary mechanism for bail distorts the criminal justice system, with over 60 percent of the U.S. jail population being composed of individuals being held in detention because they are unable to raise the funds necessary for obtaining bail. The report analyzes the use of money for bail in the pretrial justice system, presenting an overview of the pretrial process. This analysis is followed by a discussion on the issues that surround the use of money as the primary mechanism for bail. These issues include the disproportionate impact on certain communities, loss of liberty for individuals unable to raise the necessary funds, and the link between using money for bail and the practice of plea-bargaining by prosecutors. This section is followed by a look at more effective, cost-saving practices that could be used in place of money for bail. These alternatives include the use of valid risk assessments, the use of citations in place of arresting and transporting individuals, the release of individuals back into the community on their own recognizance while awaiting trial, and the use of conditional release. The final section of the report contains recommendations for improving the pretrial release system: eliminate money bail, ban for-profit bail bonding companies, include the voices of all involved parties, expand community education programs, use citations instead of arrest and transport, use standardized risk assessments, and implement measures of pretrial detention and release services to evaluate current programs and practices. References and endnotes
Main Term(s): Bail reform
Index Term(s): Bail discrimination ; Bail payment methods ; Bail hearing ; Bail review ; Pretrial procedures ; Pretrial release ; Pretrial hearings ; Pretrial detention ; Risk management
Sponsoring Agency: Public Welfare Foundation
United States of America
Sale Source: Justice Policy Institute
1012 14th Street, NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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