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Pretrial Release and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 2008-2010

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2012
20 pages
Thomas H. Cohen, Ph.D.
Publication Series
This report presents findings on pretrial release and misconduct among defendants in Federal district courts for the combined fiscal years 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Data include the pretrial release rate, the type of pretrial release or detention, and the conditions of pretrial release. Also reported are the most serious offense charges, criminal history, and demographic characteristics of released defendants. Also presented are rates of pretrial misconduct, including technical violations, missed court appearances, and rearrests for new offenses. The rearrest data address the most serious offense charges, types of release, demographic characteristics, and the criminal history of defendants. From 2008 to 2010, Federal district courts released approximately 36 percent of defendants prior to case disposition. Nearly 75 percent of Federal defendants released pretrial did not pay a financial bond to secure their release. Approximately 8 out of 10 Federal defendants released prior to their case disposition had conditions attached to their release. Of defendants release pretrial, 79 percent were release with conditions, including travel restrictions, substance abuse treatment requirements, weapons restrictions, or promises to remain employed or seek employment. Fifty-one percent of defendants with no prior arrest history were released pretrial, compared to 34 percent of defendants with two to four prior arrests and 21 percent of defendants with more than 10 prior arrests. Nineteen percent of defendants released pretrial committed some form of pretrial misconduct. Technical violations were committed by 17 percent of defendants released prior to case disposition; 1 percent of released defendants failed to make court appearances, and 4 percent were rearrested for new offenses. 14 tables and 5 figures

Date Created: November 15, 2012