Data Analysis Jail Populations Pretrial and Bail August 26, 2019

Arrest, Release, Repeat: How police and jails are misused to respond to social problems

Prison Policy Institute

Police and jails are supposed to promote public safety. Increasingly, however, law enforcement is called upon to respond punitively to medical and economic problems unrelated to public safety issues. As a result, local jails are filled with people who need medical care and social services, many of whom cycle in and out of jail without ever receiving the help they need. Conversations about this problem are becoming more frequent, but until now, these conversations have been missing three fundamental data points: how many people go to jail each year, how many return, and which underlying problems fuel this cycle. This report fills that troubling data gap.


Interagency Collaboration Policing Pretrial and Bail August 13, 2019

Gatekeepers: The Role of Police in Ending Mass Incarceration

Vera Institute of Justice

Police in America arrest millions of people each year, and the likelihood that arrest will lead to jail incarceration has increased steadily: for every 100 arrests police officers made in 2016, there were 99 jail admissions, up from 70 jail admissions for every 100 arrests in 1994. Ending mass incarceration and repairing its extensive collateral consequences thus must begin by focusing on the front end of the system: police work. Recognizing the roughly 18,000 police agencies around the country as gatekeepers of the system, this report explores the factors driving mass enforcement, particularly of low-level offenses; what police agencies could do instead with the right community investment, national and local leadership, and officer training, incentives, and support; and policies that could shift the policing paradigm away from the reflexive use of enforcement, which unnecessarily criminalizes people and leads directly to the jailhouse door.

Implementation Guide

Interagency Collaboration Jail Costs Pretrial and Bail June 12, 2019

Paid in Full: A Plan to End Money Injustice in New Orleans

Vera Institute of Justice

The role that money—in the form of bail, fines and fees—plays in criminal justice systems has come under increased focus. These practices have long plagued New Orleans, driving jail incarceration and costing struggling families—most of them black—millions. By taking the actions set out in this report, Criminal District Court judges, the mayor, and city council members will make New Orleans the first city in the country to replace money bail and conviction fees with a fair, safety-promoting, and financially stable system of justice.

Issue Brief

Data Analysis Human Toll of Jail Pretrial and Bail April 23, 2019

Justice Denied: The Harmful and Lasting Effects of Pretrial Detention

Vera Institute of Justice

The pretrial population—the number of people who are detained while awaiting trial—increased 433 percent between 1970 and 2015. This growth is in large part due to the increased use of monetary bail. But pretrial detention has far-reaching negative consequences. This evidence brief presents information on the way that pretrial detention is currently used and summarizes research on its impacts. These studies call into question whether pretrial detention improves court appearance rates, suggests that people who are detained are more likely to be convicted and to receive harsher sentences, and indicate that even short periods of detention may make people more likely to become involved with the criminal justice system again in the future. The brief concludes by highlighting strategies that some jurisdictions have employed to reduce the use of monetary bail and increase pretrial release.


Data Analysis Jail Populations Pretrial and Bail March 19, 2019

Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019

Prison Policy Initiative

The country’s fragmented systems of confinement make answering basic questions about mass incarceration unnecessarily difficult. This updated edition of Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie, answers these essential questions with the most recent data, highlighting causes of incarceration that get too little attention as well as incarceration “myths” that receive too much.