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Eastern District of Michigan: How Does It Consistently Achieve High Release Rates?

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 76 Issue: 2 Dated: September 2012 Pages: 15-20
Timothy P. Cadigan; Marie VanNostrand; Alan Murray
Date Published
September 2012
6 pages
This article is an amalgam of various efforts over nearly 7 years to identify the factors in the Eastern District of Michigan's success in pretrial release rates for Federal defendants.
The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan has long been recognized for its high release rates of pretrial defendants. Its pretrial release rates have significantly surpassed the national average for many years. The district recommends unsecured bonds and reporting to pretrial service officers in-person. In office visits, officers discuss personal challenges that the individual had been facing prior to being arrested. Contact is made with family members who live with the defendant. Defendants are informed of court dates and offered services that include drug treatment, mental health counseling, a self-surrender program, and GED classes. While the defendant is on bond, officers maintain contact with the prosecutor assigned to the case and report noncompliance to the judges, prosecutor, and defense lawyer in a timely fashion. Violation hearings are requested when deemed necessary. Each individual who is on bond and supervised is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and given attention and respect, regardless of the allegations they face. An assessment found that the district released just over 70 percent of pretrial defendants from 2006 to 2009. A ninety-three percent success rate was achieved for defendants released to pretrial supervision. 8 figures