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Bail reform on this county did not have any affect on new felony activity, new examine says

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Criminal Justice

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Bail reform within the county that features Chicago had no affect on new felony activity or violent felony activity of defendants who had been let go earlier than trial, based on a brand new examine.

The study, by the Loyola University Chicago, examined bail reform in Cook County, Illinois, instituted by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

His September 2017 order required judges to first decide whether or not a defendant ought to be let go earlier than trial. In instances of launch, a presumption of launch with out cash bail utilized. If the choose did set bail, the quantity ought to be inexpensive to the defendant.

The examine discovered that the chance of latest felony activity, after controlling for defendant and case elements, remained at about 17% earlier than and after bail reform, whereas the most likely of latest violent felony activity remained at 3% earlier than and after reform.

Overall, crime charges in Chicago weren’t any greater than highly anticipated after bail reform. Expected crime charges took under consideration historic knowledge and elements recognized to affect crime.

After controlling for defendant and case elements, about 77% of defendants had been highly anticipated to be let go earlier than bail reform in comparison with roughly 81% after reform. After controlling for those self same variables, about 26% of defendants had been highly anticipated to be let go on a person recognizance bond earlier than bail reform in comparison with 57% after reform.

Those who did pay money bail had been assessed decrease quantities. Average bond quantities for defendants with deposit bonds, which means that they needed to pay 10% of the quantity for launch, decreased from $9,316 earlier than bail reform to $3,824 after reform.

The examine discovered that prevented bond prices saved defendants and their households greater than $31.four million within the six months after bail reform.

“It is possible to decrease the use of monetary bail and decrease pretrial detention—and lessen the financial, physical and psychological harms that come with pretrial detention—without affecting criminal activity or crime rates,” based on the examine, Dollars and Sense in Cook County.

The examine authors are professors Don Stemen and David Olson of the Loyola University Chicago.

Prior analyses by the Chicago Tribune and two University of Utah regulation professors had concluded that Evans underplayed the rise in crime that adopted bail reform in his own examine of the affect of bail reform. Evans had discovered that the proportion of felony defendants charged with a brand new crime whereas on pretrial launch was related earlier than and after bail reform.

The Chicago Tribune and the Utah examine stated Evans had used an extended “before” than “after” interval, giving defendants extra time to commit crimes within the earlier than interval. They additionally stated Evans did not account for variations in seasons that have an effect on crime charges.

But all these analyses suffered from related methodological issues, based on the Loyola researchers. The research that critiqued Evans relied on the identical public knowledge that he used and in addition did not account for seasonality. The critiques didn’t depend on impartial court docket or jail knowledge, the Loyola researchers stated.

The Chicago Tribune, the Crime Report and the Chicago Sun-Times had protection of the brand new examine.

During a video press convention, Olson was requested about police claims that bail reform led to a rise in Chicago crime this 12 months.

“If bail reform practices haven’t dramatically changed this year, which we don’t believe to have occurred, then we have to start looking at all of the other possible explanations for the increase in violence,” Olson stated. “With the pandemic and with the shutdown came a lot of economic stress on communities and individuals.”

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