Nationwide, pre-trial incarceration – and the costs associated with it – is on the rise. Fiscal conservatives must ask whether a decrease in crime is actually resulting from the increase in costs. In the new issue of the Texas Law Review, an empirical study offers two important insights: first, that judges, who are charged with determining whom to detain pre-trial, “often detain the wrong people,” and second, some measures could provide judges the necessary tools to “release 25% more defendants while decreasing both violent crime and total pretrial crime rates.”
From the article:
If it can be shown that pretrial detention can be decreased and more defendants can be safely released without a commensurate increase in crime, more defendants will have access to pretrial liberty and due process, counties can save substantial amounts of money on corrections that can be put toward other important social goals, and the public can continue to feel safe at home.
The article, “Predicting Violence,” is available here.