Monday numbers: A closer look at cash bail (and the alternatives) as NC Courts Commission prepares to review

Monday numbers: A closer look at cash bail (and the alternatives) as NC Courts Commission prepares to review

On Friday, October 12, the North Carolina Courts Commission’s Subcommittee on Pretrial Release will hold its first meeting. The preliminary meeting, to be held at the North Carolina Judicial Center at 901 Corporate Center Drive in Raleigh, will be to set goals for the Pretrial Release Work Group going forward.

Over the last year Policy Watch has examined the North Carolina cash bail system, the for-profit bail industry and efforts toward reform.

Groups looking to end the practice of cash bail and bring about reforms of the system caution that pretrial release programs should be designed in ways that address racial, social and gender inequities in the current system.

Today we offer a look at some of those inequities by the numbers and what is being done in some jurisdictions to address them.

35 – The percentage that, on average, bails set for Black men exceed those set for white men charged with the same crime, with the same criminal history (Source: “Testing for Racial Discrimination in Bail Setting Using Nonparametric Estimation of a Parametric Model,” 2011)

19 – The percentage that, on average, bails set for Latino men exceed those set for white men charged with the same crime, with the same criminal history (ibid.)

4 – The number of times more likely someone is to receive a sentence to jail or prison if they cannot afford a bond (Source:”Investigating the Impact of Pretrial Detention on Sentencing Outcomes”, 2013)

2 to 3 – Number of times longer their sentences are (ibid.)

$10,000 – The average bond amount. A 2016 study found most women jailed before trial earn little more than $10,000 annually — while most women in jail are there on non-violent criminal charges, they are far less likely to be able to afford a bond (Source: Detaining the Poor:  How money bail perpetuates an endless cycle of poverty and jail time, 2016)

41 – The percentage of Native American, Black and Pacific Islander defendants released before trial in Yakima County, Washington before that jurisdiction implemented a pretrial assessment tool (Source: Yakima County, Washington Pretrial Justice System Improvements, 2017)

65 – The percentage  released after implementation of a pretrial assessment tool
(ibid.)

49 – The percentage of Latinx/Hispanic defendants released before trial in Yakima County, Washington before that jurisdiction implemented a pretrial assessment tool (ibid.)

75 – The percentage released after implementation of a pretrial assessment tool (ibid.)

64 – The percentage of white defendants released before trial in Yakima County, Washington before that jurisdiction implemented a pretrial assessment tool (ibid.)

73 – The percentage released after implementation of a pretrial assessment tool (ibid.)

10 – The percentage of jurisdictions found to be using risk analytics when deciding which defendants should be detained before trial, according to a 2016 study (Source: Fairness is Fiscally Responsible -Data Analytics Can Make Communities Safer While Saving Money, 2016)

$1.7 million – The amount saved when the Southern District of Iowa implemented risk-based detention — the program led to them releasing 15 percent more defendants (Source: The Right Way to Shrink Prisons, 2011)

$2 million – The amount saved by the state of Maine through risk-based pretrial assessment (Source: Front-End Justice Reform: The Role of Risk Assessments in Cost-Saving Justice Reform, 2013)

$3 billion – The amount spent in America each year to hold low-risk defendants before trial (Source: Fairness is Fiscally Responsible -Data Analytics Can Make Communities Safer While Saving Money, 2016)

90 – The percentage more it costs to incarcerate a defendant awaiting trial vs. the cost of release and supervision (ibid.)