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Bail and Preventive Detention (From Criminal Justice Administration Cases and Materials, Fourth Edition, P 649-694, 1991, Frank W Miller, Robert O Dawson, et al. -- See NCJ-129355)

NCJ Number
F W Miller; R O Dawson; G E Dix; R I Parnas
Date Published
46 pages
After an introductory review of the movement for reform of the pretrial release system, this chapter presents U.S. Supreme Court cases pertinent to the movement away from money bail and the implications of the Federal Bail Reform Act of 1984 for preventive pretrial detention.
Reform in the pretrial release system consists of modification of the criminal justice system's traditional exclusive reliance upon cash bail and professional bondsmen and the provision of mechanisms for the protection of society from accuseds who pose significant dangers to the public if released pending trial. In the case of Schilb v. Kuebel (1971), Schilb deposited $75 with the clerk of the court as the condition for his pretrial release; this was 10 percent of the aggregate bail fixed on the charges. When he paid his fine, the $75.00 was returned less $7.50 retained as "bail bond costs." Schilb attacked this statutory 1 percent of the aggregate bail amount charge on the basis of due process and equal protection grounds. The Court held that the charge is constitutional, since it is an administrative cost imposed upon both the guilty and the innocent. The Bail Reform Act of 1984 allows a Federal Court to detain an arrestee pending trial if the government demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence, after an adversarial hearing, that no release conditions would reasonably ensure community safety. In United States v. Salerno (1987), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Federal court of appeals ruling that this provision violates substantive due process. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the appellate court, holding that the provision is carefully constructed to protect citizens while also protecting the liberty interests of all but the most dangerous defendants. In United States v. Jessup (1985), the Court upheld the Bail Reform Act's rebuttable presumption that a person charged with a serious drug offense will likely flee before trial. Case notes are included.


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