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Factors Influencing Release and Bail Decisions in New York City, Part 2. Brooklyn

NCJ Number
Mary T. Phillips Ph.D.; Elyse J. Revere
Date Published
July 2004
81 pages
This second part of a three-part report on a study of judicial release and bail decisions at criminal court arraignment in New York City presents data from Brooklyn courtrooms for the period September 2002 through March 2003.
Four researchers observed arraignment proceedings and collected data on 999 cases over the 6-month period. The release-on-recognizance decision and the bail amount were analyzed separately in order to determine whether different factors influenced these two aspects of the arraignment decision. In addition to data and analyses on these factors, this report also provides data and information on case and defendant characteristics as well as attorney requests and arguments. The most significant finding was that the prosecutor's bail request was the strongest predictor of both ROR and the amount of bail set, particularly the latter. Arguments made by the defense had little or no effect on either ROR or bail amount. Judicial variability made a significant difference in both the ROR and the bail analyses, except for cases that involved a first arrest. 22 tables, 2 figures, 55 references, and appended supplementary methodological information and exhibits