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Pretrial Release Programming - Issues and Trends

NCJ Number
C W Eskridge
Date Published
227 pages
This sourcebook reviews facts and issues related to pretrial release programs (PTR), covering program organization and operations, evaluation measures, cost analysis, and prediction.
The book traces the shift of American justice from the due process to the crime control model, commenting that pretrial processing is essential at a time when an overzealous policy of crime control threatens to override considerations of justice and fairness. Following a historical overview of bail bond and pretrial detention, the volume describes four styles of PTR: release on recognizance, a reporting release, release on supervision, and third-party or attorney custody. Also examined are funding, operational philosophies, PTR programs' exclusionary criteria, operational procedures, and legal issues. Two case studies describe PTR programs in Santa Clara, Calif., and New York City. A review of PTR evaluations concludes generally that such programs are successful, maintaining a failure-to-appear rate of less than 10 percent and providing cost-effective services. Because PTR programs can improve success rates by more sophisticated techniques of identifying good risks, the author discusses prediction scales and ways to overcome resistance to their use. Factors that affect failure rates are explored, including community ties, criminal offenses, program operations, and supervision. The final chapter explores future trends in PTR and areas for additional research. The appendixes contain the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, the Pretrial Services Act of 1982, and 10 city, county, and State pretrial release instruments. An index and approximately 150 references are provided.