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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77211 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of Conditional-release Program, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Final Report
Corporate Author: Georgetown University
Institute of Criminal Law and Procedure
United States of America
Project Director: H S Miller
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 135
Sponsoring Agency: Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20001
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
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report evaluated Philadelphia's Conditional-Release Program (CRP) over a 3-year period beginning in fall 1973, using failure to appear rates, cost-benefit analysis, interviews, and other measures.
Abstract: Although Philadelphia initiated its bail reform efforts in 1968 with two prelease programs, many defendants did not meet the criteria and remained incarcerated. CRP's primary purpose was to release under supervision individuals who could not have been released under 10-percent cash bail or recognizance or could have secured release only after a substantial period of incarceration. The program was expected to have an active caseload of 1,500 cases but consistently served less than 200 cases at a time, or 13 percent of its projected capacity. This was largely a result of an administrative decision not to hire full-time staff during the first year of operation. Therefore, the evaluation's findings are only based on this 13 percent. Failure to appear and rearrest rates for CPR clients were lower than in other prerelease programs, indicating that the program did not create additional threats to community safety. Several levels of cost-benefit analysis considered detention costs, welfare costs, lost client income, and court costs in comparison with program expenditures and concluded that CRP was cost effective. However, poor cooperation between CRP and the Sheriff's department caused major problems regarding the scheduling of bail hearings and interviews with offenders. Most difficulties were resolved by implementation of the Pretrial Service's own transportation service and an early interview procedure. By the end of its third year, CRP required more than 10 days after a defendant's arrest to secure release. The evaluation team believed that increased cooperation among criminal justice agencies could have reduced this to 5 days or less. A survey of community services indicated that CRP made no efforts to develop new resources but relied on preexisting agencies. Interviews with treatment services, judges, and program participants revealed general satisfaction with CRP. Additional areas addressed in the evaluation include defendants' socioeconomic characteristics, employment histories, prior records, and recidivism. The appendixes contain charts of the CRP organization and the pretrial release process, and explanation of the research design, statistical tables, and data collection instruments. Footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Bail reform; Cost/Benefit Analysis; Evaluation; Pennsylvania; Pretrial release; Program evaluation; Supervised release
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