In September 2012, JPI released a series of three research re
ports explaining the weakness of money bail and for-profit bail bonding in the criminal justice system. This brief provides an update on pretrial and bail reform during the last year and provides recommendations moving forward.
Overall, most jurisdictions continue to rely on money instead of scientifically measured public safety risk when it comes to pretrial release decisions. That practice, shown time and again to be ineffective, unfair and expensive, threatens public safety and puts money in the pockets of the for-profit bail bonding industry.
There has been some, mostly positive, movement in the areas of legislative activity, forfeiture collection, pretrial services expansion and bail bonding regulation since JPI launched its bail series in the fall of 2012.
Read our 2012 Bail Report Series
Note: In our 2012 report, Bailing on Baltimore: Voices from the Front Lines of the Justice System, we erroneously reported that release on recognizance “rarely” occurs in Baltimore City. According to data from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ Central Region Statistics Report February 2013, of the 54,176 bookings processed in 2012, 43 percent were released on own recognizance, 4 percent were released without charge, and 52 percent were released to confinement in the detention center.