skip navigation


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: 83121 Find in a Library
Title: Limits of Legal Reform - Bail and Systematic Class Oppression (From Research in Law and Sociology, Volume 3, 1980, Steven Spitzer, ed.)
Author(s): J R Baumann
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Jai Press, Inc
Stamford, CT 06901
Sale Source: Jai Press, Inc
Publicity Manager
100 Prospect Street
Stamford, CT 06901
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper from a collection of works focusing on the law and sociology examines the history of bail, critiques standard bail practices, and discusses recent reform measures.
Abstract: The concept of bail originated in the English common law, and considerations of bail were included in the Federal Constitution. Nevertheless, the legitimate parameters of bail, particularly with regard to what constitutes excessive bail, were never clearly defined by the judiciary. Years of legislative and judicial review did little to alter either the nature or pattern of implementation of bail until the mid-1960's. The 1960's were marked by a series of political challenges, legal suits, critical research, and national conferences focusing on bail reform. Most of these efforts pointed out the inequalities of the money bail system and its inherently discriminatory character. As a result, the Federal Bail Reform Act of 1966 and Massachusetts' Bail Reform Act were passed. Both laws directed the courts to follow a presumption in favor of release on recongizance for most crimes. Such factors as family ties, employment record, reputation, and length of residence in the community were specified for determination of such release of a defendant. The article suggests that such bail reform gives the facade of meaningful progress while basically altering nothing with regard to the exercise of discriminatory practices. Seventeen notes and approximately 50 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Bail discrimination; Bail reform; Bail review; Federal bail system; Rights of the accused
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*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.