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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66661 Find in a Library
Title: STATEMENT OF JEFFREY A ROTH, INSTITUTE FOR LAW AND SOCIAL RESEARCH ON FEBRUARY 6, 1978 CONCERNING HR 7747 (FROM PRETRIAL RELEASE AND DETENTION, P 262-270, 1978 - SEE NCJ-66651)
Author(s): J A ROTH
Corporate Author: INSLAW
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: INSLAW
Washington, DC 20005
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE AUTHOR OF AN ECONOMETRIC STUDY OF PRETRIAL RELEASE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COMMENTS ON ECONOMIC INFLUENCES ON PRETRIAL RELEASE MONEY BONDS IN CONNECTION WITH THE PERTINENT DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA LAW AND AMENDMENTS THERETO.
Abstract: HE TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL EFFICIENCY AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS CONCERNING H.R. 7747, AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 23 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CODE WITH RESPECT TO PRETRIAL RELEASE OR DETENTION OF PERSONS CHARGED WITH CERTAIN VIOLENT OR DANGEROUS CRIMES. A SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST OF THE INSTITUTE FOR THE LAW AND SOCIAL RESEARCH OF WASHINGTON, THE WITNESS ADDRESSED THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FINANCIAL RELEASE IN REDUCING DEFENDANTS' FAILURE TO APPEAR AND PRETRIAL CRIME, AND IN GUARANTEEING DUE PROCESS TO THE ACCUSED. REFERRING TO THE FINDINGS OF HIS PREVIOUS ECONOMETRIC STUDY, THE WITNESS PRODUCED A STATEMENT SHOWING, IN TABULAR FORM, A COMPARISON OF VARIABLES EXPLAINING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS, FAILURE TO APPEAR, AND PRETRIAL REARREST. HE POINTED OUT A FACTOR OBVIOUSLY IGNORED BY JUDGES IN THEIR DETERMINATION TO SET BAIL OR TO PLACE DEFENDANTS ON CONDITIONAL RELEASE -- THAT DRUG USERS ARE MORE LIKELY THAN OTHERS (INCLUDING HOMICIDE AND ROBBERY DEFENDANTS, AS WELL AS PERSONS ACCUSED OF OTHER CRIMES) TO FAIL TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL AND TO BE REARRESTED BEFORE TRIAL. ARRAIGNMENT JUDGES SHOW DRUG USERS A DEGREE OF LENIENCY NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE REALITIES OF THE SITUATION. THE WITNESS DISCUSSED OTHER PROBLEMS CAUSED BY THE INAPPROPIATE USE OF BONDS, EMPHASIZING THAT BY MAKING PRETRIAL INCARCERATION A MATTER OF ABILITY TO PAY, BOND REQUIREMENTS NOT ONLY CAUSE INEQUITY, THEY INTRODUCE VARIABLES, SUCH AS INCOME AND WEALTH, THAT HAVE NO IDENTIFIABLE RELATIONSHIP TO THE RISKS OF NONAPPEARANCE AND/OR PRETRIAL CRIME. THE WITNESS ALSO COMPARED VARIOUS TYPES OF DEFENDANTS IN TERMS OF THE CRIMES OF WHICH THEY ARE ACCUSED AS RELATED TO THEIR LIKELIHOOD TO JUMP BAIL. OVERALL, THE SENIOR ECONOMIST CONCLUDED THAT A JUDGE'S ASSESSMENT OF PRETRIAL RISK OF REARREST SEEMS PREFERABLE TO THE ABILITY TO PAY AS A RELEASE CRITERION. THEREFORE, EFFORTS TO SUBSTITUTE PREVENTIVE DETENTION AND SUPERVISED NONFINANCIAL RELEASE FOR THE USE OF BOND SEEM DEFENSIBLE ON GROUNDS OF BOTH EQUITY AND EFFICIENCY. HOWEVER, HE EXPRESSED UNCERTAINTY ON HOW DIRECTLY H.R. 7747 ADDRESSES THIS GOAL.
Index Term(s): Bail jumping; Bail/Financial Release; District of Columbia; Economic influences; Legislation; Pretrial release; Preventive detention; Recidivists; Social conditions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66661

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