Pretrial Release and Misconduct: Felony Defendants in the 75 Largest Counties

Brian A. Reaves, Bureau of Justice Statistics

Using data from the BJS State Court Processing Statistics program for the years 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998, this study examines factors related to the pretrial release and detention of felony defendants in the 75 largest counties. Factors related to the probability of release such as type of offense, criminal justice status, prior arrests and convictions, and court appearance history are examined. Also studied are the types of release used, bail amounts, and defendant conduct while in a release status. Instances of pretrial misconduct such as missed court appearances and rearrests are examined as they relate to factors such as defendant characteristics, type of pretrial release, and length of time in a release status.

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Updated 05/20/2006