Data Analysis Human Toll of Jail Pretrial and Bail September 9, 2020

In the Shadows: A Review of the Research on Plea Bargaining

Ram Subramanian, Leon Digard, Melvin Washington II, and Stephanie Sorage (The Vera Institute of Justice)

There are concerns about plea bargaining’s coercive nature, its role in encouraging the forfeiture of procedural protections, and its role in fueling mass incarceration. In order to provide an accessible summary of existing research, the Vera Institute of Justice, with support from the Safety and Justice Challenge, examined the small but growing body of empirical studies that has developed around plea bargaining. The result is a mix of complicated, nuanced, and sometimes contradictory research findings.