The Pretrial Service Agency people have finally, despite their cover-ups and dismal performance, found an ally in the ultra-liberal Obama Justice Department.
For twenty-two years the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (a division within the U.S. Justice Department) has published several reports comparing the performance of unsecured pretrial release (PTS) to secured release (commercial bail bonding). Every single time secured release dramatically outperformed unsecured release.
The private sector bail bond industry has used this information to show how Pretrial Service Agencies (aka local “free bail” shops) is a public safety danger and a terrible waste of taxpayer money. And the campaign is being successful. So successful, in fact, that it has driven the Pretrial Service Agency folks to take drastic measures by whining to Obama’s Justice Department that BJS information is hurting them and should therefore be retracted.
Consider this statement from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, State Court Processing Statistics, 1990-2004; “Compared to release on recognizance, defendants on financial release were more likely to make all scheduled court appearances.”
Compare that to this remark from a Data Advisory that was…
Below are links to the articles referred to in the blog post.
Bureau of Justice Statistics – Data Advisory, March 2010
For 22 years the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has supported the State Court Processing Statistics (SCPS) project—a statistical series describing the characteristics of felony defendants and the processing of their cases by state courts. “e SCPS data are routinely used bypretrial practitioners, bail bondsmen, criminal justice policymakers, district attorneys, state courts, lawmakers, academics, journalists, and members of the public. Inherent in the SCPS design are a number of limitations in the uses and capabilities of these data. In particular, the following limitations must be considered when analyzing SCPS data, drawing any conclusions based on the data, and citing BJS reports…CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE THE FULL DATA ADVISORY.
Bureau of Justice Statistics SPECIAL REPORT – Pretrial Release of Felony Defendants in State Courts, November 2007
Between 1990 and 2004, 62% of felony defendants in State courts in the 75 largest counties were released prior to the disposition of their case. Beginning in 1998, financial pretrial releases, requiring the posting of bail, were more prevalent than non-financial releases. This increase in the use of financial releases was mostly the result of a decrease in the use of release on recognizance (ROR), coupled with an increase in the use of commercial surety bonds. These findings are from a multi-year analysis of felony cases from the biennial State Court Processing Statistics (SCPS)…CLICK ON THE PDF BELOW TO SEE THE FULL REPORT.