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He Versus She: A Gender-Specific Analysis of Legal and Extralegal Effects on Pretrial Release for Felony Defendants

NCJ Number
Women and Criminal Justice Volume: 19 Issue: 2 Dated: April-June 2009 Pages: 95-119
Jeremy D. Ball; Lisa Growette Bostaph
Date Published
April 2009
25 pages
This study identified significant predictors of pretrial processing for both male and female defendants.
Results show that a greater percentage of male defendants compared to female defendants were denied bail and were detained prior to trial. Male defendants had a higher average bail amount than female defendants. A greater percentage of female defendants compared to male defendants received a non-financial release and made bail. Legal factors had a significant effect on both pretrial decision and outcomes, extralegal factors did as well. Type of charge was a significant predictor for every decision and outcome across both genders. Some form of prior contact with the criminal justice system, such as prior jail terms, prior prison terms, prior violent charge, or prior failure to appear (FTA), was a significant predictor for every decision and outcome across both genders. As for criminal justice status, this legal variable was significant for all of the dependent variables across both genders, except for the amount of bail for male defendants. Extralegal variables, such as race, ethnicity, and type of defense attorney, were also significant predictors of pretrial decisions and outcome. Race and ethnicity was a significant predictor for every decision and outcome with the exception of the decision to deny bail for male defendants and grant non-financial release for female defendants. Having a public defender was a significant predictor in all of the analysis. Data were collected from the State Court Processing Statistics, 1990-2000: Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties. Tables, notes, and references