University of Pretrial Library

Virginia Pre-Trial Data Project Preliminary Findings -December 2019 

01-08-2020 14:03

From the report: The Virginia Pre-Trial Data Project is an unprecedented, collaborative effort between numerous state and local agencies representing all three branches of government to examine matters related to the pre-trial process. The pre-trial period encompasses the various stages of a criminal case from the time a defendant is charged with an offense until the final disposition (trial and/or sentencing) of the matter. The Project was developed as a result of the Crime Commission’s study of the pre-trial process in order to determine how effective various pre-trial release mechanisms are at ensuring public safety and appearance at court proceedings.

In comparing people released on bond in jurisdictions with and without pretrial services, the percentage of people arrested for charges punishable by incarceration did not vary between the two jurisdictions, and people in counties without pretrial services had slightly lower failure-to-appear rates.

When looking at people whose cases were heard in localities with pretrial services, the data shows that the percentage of people who were re-arrested for crimes punishable by incarceration were the same for people who were released on secured bond only, secured bond with pretrial services supervision, or personal recognizance (PR)/unsecured bond with pretrial services supervision. People who were released on personal recognizance with no supervision had lower re-arrest rates. People released on secured bond with supervision were expected to have higher failure-to-appear rates, but actually had lower rates than people released on personal recognizance (PR)/unsecured bond only; PR/unsecured bond with supervision; and secured bond only.

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