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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157921 Find in a Library
Title: Evidence of a Failed System: A Study of the Performance of Pretrial Release Agencies in California
Author(s): M K Block; S J Twist
Editor(s): T Beauchemin
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: American Legislative Exchange Council
Washington, DC 20006
Sale Source: American Legislative Exchange Council
910 17th Street, NW
Fifth floor
Washington, DC 20006
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of pretrial release agencies in California found that private secured release was much more effective than government secured release in assuring defendants in the counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco appeared for trial.
Abstract: In the three counties, more than 50 percent of defendants were released prior to trial. Of those released, about 52 percent were released under some form of government secured release without the requirement that they post financial security for their promise to appear for trial. The others were released under some form of private secured release, generally surety bail which required the posting of a bond. San Francisco County relied more heavily on government secured release than the other two counties, with nearly 70 percent of released defendants in such programs. In comparison, less than 40 percent of released defendants in San Diego County participated in government secured release programs. Defendants released on surety bail in the three counties were more likely to be violent and repeat offenders than those released on government secured release without financial security. Defendants were more than twice as likely to fail to appear for trial when released on government secured release than on private secured release. For those with no prior record of arrest or conviction, defendants on government secured release were five times more likely to fail to appear for trial. Defendants released on any nonfinancial government secured release were over three times as likely to fail to appear on multiple occasions. It is estimated that the failure to appear rate in Los Angeles County would fall from 27 percent to 19 percent if the proportion of defendants released under a surety bond rose from its current 40 percent to 86 percent. 8 endnotes and 45 figures
Main Term(s): Court statistics
Index Term(s): Bail bonds; California; Offender statistics; Pretrial release
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