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Preentry: The Key to Long-Term Criminal Justice Success?

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 75 Issue: 2 Dated: September 2011 Pages: 74-77
Timothy P. Cadigan; Christopher T. Lowenkamp
Date Published
September 2011
4 pages
In an effort to increase attention to and financing of the use of evidence-based practices (EBP) for the management of Federal defendants on pretrial release, the research reported in this article produced data on the link between outcomes for defendants on pretrial release and their post-conviction correctional outcomes.
The study found that even among the highest-risk offenders, those who successfully completed pretrial release were nearly twice as likely to avoid a new arrest while on post-conviction supervision. The study clearly shows that success on pretrial release leads to greater levels of success on post-conviction supervision. The research is based on 79,064 defendants released on pretrial supervision between October 1, 2000, and September 31, 2007. The pretrial services data were later merged with post-conviction supervision data where a matching record - generally FBI number and/or Social Security number, could be identified. The joined file was then processed with a follow-up rap sheet or criminal record check and subsequently analyzed. The first level of analysis shows that defendants detained for the pretrial period were at least twice as likely to fail on post-conviction supervision as defendants who were released during the pretrial period. This effect was evident for all risk levels, except for the highest-risk offenders, who failed at fairly similar rates. The pretrial-release groups were categorized for outcomes that included successful, rearrested, failure-to-appear, and technical violations resulting in revocation. Failure on post-conviction supervision was measured by whether or not a new arrest occurred while under supervision. The authors advise, however, that although this analysis shows that offenders successful on pretrial release had higher rates of success on post-conviction supervision, they make no claim of causation. The findings warrant additional study. 1 figure, 2 tables and 20 references


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