A study, using data from state courts, found that defendants who were detained for the entire pretrial period were over four times more likely to be sentenced to jail and over three times more likely to be sentenced to prison than defendants who were released at some point pending trial. And their sentences were significantly longer – almost three times as long for defendants sentenced to jail, and more than twice as long for those sentenced to prison.On recidivism, "pretrial detention is associated with long-term recidivism, particularly for low-risk defendants." According to the brief:
what if, rather than protecting society, the pretrial phase of the system is actually helping to create new repeat offenders?Those are just highlights that jumped out at me. The whole thing (pdf) is well worth a read.
That is the question raised by an LJAF-funded study that analyzed data on over 153,000 defendants booked into jail in Kentucky in 2009 and 2010. The analysis showed that low-risk defendants who were detained pretrial for more than 24 hours were more likely to commit new crimes not only while their cases were pending, but also years later. In addition, they were more likely to miss their day in court. Conversely, for high-risk defendants, there was no relationship between pretrial incarceration and increased crime. This suggests that high-risk defendants can be detained before trial without compromising, and in fact enhancing, public safety and the fair administration of justice.