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NCJ Number: 135539 Find in a Library
Title: Judicial Guidelines for Pretrial Release: Research and Policy Developments in the United States
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1991)  Pages:140-160
Author(s): P R Jones; J S Goldkamp
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 21
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the development of bail guidelines in the United States and presents findings from recent implementations of bail guidelines in several U.S. jurisdictions with a focus on those issues that have relevance to the bail information schemes in Britain.
Abstract: Despite the many differences in the criminal justice systems of Great Britain and the United States, both countries face common problems in the field of pretrial decisionmaking. The bail decision is a complex decision made relatively quickly with little reliable information. Bail information schemes recently tested in Britain suggest that policymakers recognize the need to classify cases on a scientific rather than an intuitive basis. Recent bail reform in the United States has been built on this premise and has progressed to the point of developing empirically derived, voluntary judicial guidelines for pretrial release. This work has implications for pretrial decisionmaking in general and the bail information schemes in particular. In the United States and in Britain, pretrial decisionmaking has traditionally been individualized. Judges take into account the "totality of the circumstances" in any given case. The guidelines concept, with its emphasis on structured discretion, inevitably causes a tension. This study provides support for empirically derived, self-help guidelines. In Britain, as in the United States, the alternative is a continuation of subjective decisionmaking, sometimes based on a sub rosa agenda and invariably in virtual ignorance of its consequences. 21 notes and 36 references
Main Term(s): Bail/Financial Release
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Pretrial release; US/foreign comparisons
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