skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

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: 66298 Find in a Library
Title: BAIL REVISITED
Journal: AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION RESEARCH JOURNAL  Issue:4  Dated:(FALL 1979)  Pages:769-789
Author(s): H ZEISEL
Corporate Author: American Bar Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Foundation
Chicago, IL 60611
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESULTS OF A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM OF NEW YORK CITY, FOCUSING ON BAIL ISSUES ARE DISCUSSED. FAILURES OF THE CURRENT SYSTEM ARE EMPHASIZED, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ARE INCLUDED.
Abstract: BEGUN IN 1973, THIS STUDY HAS AS ITS DATA BASE A PROBABILITY SAMPLE OF 1,888 FELONY ARRESTS WHOSE ITINERARY THROUGH THE SYSTEM WAS TRACED TO FINAL DISPOSITION. FOR A SUBSAMPLE OF 369 CASES, INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED WITH THE ARRESTING POLICE OFFICER, THE ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THE DEFENSE COUNSEL, AND THE JUDGE ABOUT THE RESPECTIVE PART EACH PLAYED IN THE PROCESS THAT CULMINATED IN DISPOSITION. ALTHOUGH THE LAW INSISTS ON THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE AND ONLY ABOUT 25 PERCENT OF ALL FELONY ARRESTS END IN A CUSTODY SENTENCE, THE LAW ENFORCEMENT PROCESS BEGINS WITH THE SUSPECTED DEFENDANT BEING TAKEN INTO CUSTODY. DENIAL OF BAIL IS RARE, ALTHOUGH NEW YORK LAW ALLOWS DENIAL FOR DEFENDANTS CHARGED WITH FELONIES. SUCH FACTORS AS CHARACTER, EMPLOYMENT HISTORY, AND PREVIOUS CRIMINAL RECORD ARE CONSIDERED BY THE JUDGE. WHEN BAIL IS SET, IT IS ABOVE $1,000 IN 40 PERCENT OF ALL CASES. STUDY DATA SHOW THAT ALMOST 50 PERCENT OF ALL DEFENDANTS CANNOT MAKE BAIL AS SET. PROHIBITIVELY HIGH BAIL CONTINUES TO BE IMPOSED DESPITE ITS NEGLIGIBLE IMPACT ON THE BAIL JUMPING RATE. THE BAIL SYSTEM DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THE INDIGENT DEFENDANT WHO CANNOT MAKE BAIL. IT KEEPS IN A JAIL DEFENDANTS WHO WOULD HAVE RETURNED TO COURT IF THEY HAD BEEN RELEASED, AND CONVICTED. IT RELEASES DEFENDANTS WHO SHOULD NOT BE RELEASED SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY CAN RAISE BAIL. MOREOVER, THE EXISTENCE OF PRETRIAL DETENTION INCREASES THE LIKELIHOOD THAT DEFENDANTS WILL BE CONVICTED AND, IF CONVICTED, WILL RECEIVE A CUSTODY SENTENCE. IN CONTRAST, EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ONLY ALLOW PRETRIAL DETENTION IF THE COURT BELIEVES THAT ONE OF THREE DANGERS IS LIKELY: FLIGHT, CONTINUATION OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, OR POSSIBILITY OF COLLUSION AND TAMPERING WITH THE EVIDENCE. IN VIEW OF ITS IMPERFECTIONS, THE AMERICAN SYSTEM SHOULD BE REEXAMINED. FOOTNOTES AND GRAPHS ARE INCLUDED. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Bail bonds; Bail discrimination; Bail jumping; Bail reform; Bail/Financial Release; Data analysis; New York; Pretrial procedures; Pretrial release; Reform; Studies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66298

*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.