Research Data

  • What the New Jersey Report Shows Us (4/18/2019)

    Six years ago, a major catalyst for pretrial reform in New Jersey came in the form of a report showing that nearly 40 percent of people in jail in New Jersey were there because they could not afford bail. Several years – and a long road – later, New Jersey passed laws to provide sweeping changes to their pretrial justice policies and practices. Since January 1, 2017, when new laws went into effect, we have been watching for the outcomes of these changes, not just in terms of reducing arrests (bookings) and replacing cash bail, but in restricting detention and raising equity. We also needed to see rates of court appearance and public safety – the two purposes of the bail decision. We wanted data from the courts. And now, we have it.

    As a result of expanded use of citations-summons, the jail population has declined significantly. Since 2015, when preparation for pretrial reforms began, the pretrial jail population has fallen by nearly 44 percent. Money bonds have been functionally eliminated and de-facto detention to due an inability to pay has nearly disappeared. The few held for detention hearings are afforded full due process and then some are released with conditions of supervision. In 2018, the rate of pretrial detention was roughly 6 percent, meaning 94 percent of people were able to participate in their defense from home, with family, at their jobs, or in school, where they were best equipped to do so. The appearance rate in 2017, the most recent year cited in the report, was nearly 90 percent, only a slight decrease from before the reform. (more…)


04/18/2019

What the New Jersey Report Shows Us

Six years ago, a major catalyst for pretrial reform in New Jersey came in the form of a report showing that nearly 40 percent of people […]
07/12/2018

Voters Ready to Change the Default of Pretrial Detention

We don’t like stupid rules at PJI. That’s probably one reason why Inc. magazine recognized us as one of the Best Workplaces of 2018. So when […]
06/26/2018

Small Towns and the Sixth Amendment

Providing adequate counsel is a key challenge to addressing high rates of pretrial detention in rural areas, according to Right on Crime’s recent report, Open Roads […]
08/09/2017

(Evidence-based, Actuarial Pretrial) Risk Assessment

A lot of folks are talking about “risk assessment” these days. And that’s good. But it’s important that everyone is clear about what it means (and […]
02/08/2017

Legislative Audit Exposes Needs for Pretrial Improvements in Utah

Few people would imagine Utah as a hotspot for bail reform. But the state’s legislature recently published a scathing critique of how the for-profit money bond […]
04/15/2014

New Jersey — The Future of Bail in America

This blog post originally appeared on Bail Basics on March 25, 2014. By Tim Schnacke Here is a link to a report issued by New Jersey’s […]
10/16/2013

Does Requiring Money Upfront Make a Difference? Yes. It Needlessly Detains.

For the first time ever, a study compares pretrial release outcomes by money bond type, controlling for the statistical risk level of defendants released pretrial. PJI […]