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NCJ Number: 204585 Find in a Library
Title: Prediction of Pretrial Failure To Appear and Alternative Pretrial Release Risk-Classification Schemes in New York City: A Validation Study
Author(s): Qudsia Siddiqi Ph.D.
Corporate Author: New York City Criminal Justice Agency, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: October 26, 2000
Page Count: 44
Sponsoring Agency: New York City Criminal Justice Agency, Inc
New York, NY 10007
Sale Source: New York City Criminal Justice Agency, Inc
52 Duane Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10007
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This 1999 study tested the validity of a New York City pretrial release risk-classification scheme put in place in 1989.
Abstract: The data collected in the third quarter of the calendar year 1998 were used for the validation analysis. The objective was to determine whether the model was stable across different samples. Data were drawn from a cohort of 89,524 arrests between July 1, 1998, and September 30, 1998. The primary data source was the New York City Criminal Justice Agency, Inc. (CJA) database. The criminal court data were tracked through August 6, 1999. By this time, 98 percent of the cases had reached final dispositions. The dependent variable, pretrial failure to appear (FTA), measured the issuance of a bench warrant at any appearance prior to the disposition of a defendant's case in criminal or supreme court. The variables included in the final combined-court model (1989 sample) were community-ties items, criminal history indicators, and severity and type of the top arrest charge. The community-ties items contained information on whether the defendants had a working telephone in the residence; the length of time at their current address; whether they had a New York City area address; whether they expected someone at their criminal court arraignment; and whether they were either employed, in school, or in a training program full time at the time of their arrest. The criminal history variables provided data on pending cases and prior FTA. In order to determine its predictive ability, the final combined-court model from the 1989 sample was applied to the 1998 sample. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used. The findings indicate that the two samples differed slightly regarding the strength of the variables used to construct the point scale; however, the direction of the relationship for all the significant variables remained the same. The variables that contributed strongly to a defendant's total score in 1989 continued to have a strong effect in 1998. As for the 1989 sample, the new point scale improved prediction over the base rate suggesting that the new scale could be used with confidence to construct alternative risk-classification schemes for the 1998 sample. The study favors a risk-prediction scheme that identifies at-risk defendants regardless of the court of disposition. The recommended scheme would be able to classify defendants by their relative risk of flight. The current scheme, when applied to the 1998 sample, did not differentiate between low-risk and moderate-risk defendants, although it did distinguish high-risk defendants from low-risk and moderate-risk defendants. The recommended scheme improves upon the current scheme by substantially increasing the number of low-risk defendants while slightly decreasing their FTA rate. It thus has the potential to reduce the jail population of defendants awaiting trial. Also, the identification of defendants at moderate risk for FTA would provide an opportunity to consider other release options. 11 tables and a 9-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Discretionary decisions; New York; Prediction; Pretrial release
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