skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 119949 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Pretrial Release Policy from North Carolina's Perspective
Author(s): S H Clarke
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-5381
Sale Source: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government
Knapp-Sanders Building
Campus Box 3330
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-5381
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: North Carolina statutes on pretrial release and detention are examined, along with concepts, issues, and risks involved in pretrial release; the effectiveness of pretrial release and strategies for improving it; and some options for North Carolina.
Abstract: The number of prisoners in North Carolina jails increased steadily from 1975 through 1986 by about 213 prisoners per year; about 68 percent were being held in pretrial detention in 1986. North Carolina statutes on pretrial release require that arrested defendants be brought before a magistrate or other judicial official without unnecessary delay to determine the legality of their arrest and to determine conditions of pretrial release. The judicial official must impose one of four pretrial release conditions: (1) the defendant signs a written promise to appear; (2) the defendant is placed under the supervision of a person or organization; (3) the defendant signs an unsecured appearance bond; or (4) the defendant signs an appearance bond secured by a cash deposit, mortgage of property, or a surety. Scholars disagree as to whether the U.S. Constitution, whose only relevant provision forbids "excessive bail," creates a right to pretrial release. Other issues concern bail liberalization and associated risk control, the amount of assistance needed by defendants in obtaining pretrial release, making the pretrial release system more effective, notification of released defendants of their obligations, whether postrelease supervision reduces risk, focused supervision, the bond's effectiveness, the bail decisionmaking process, and focused supervision. The efficacy of specialized pretrial release agencies that screen defendants immediately after arrest for release without secured bond and supervise them after release is addressed. In considering options for North Carolina, the author concludes that North Carolina's law allowing variation in local pretrial release policies is well-suited to cautious experimentation with administrative improvements in pretrial release. 37 references.
Main Term(s): Pretrial release
Index Term(s): North Carolina; Pretrial detention
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.