Bail and Pretrial Detention of Low Income Nonfelony Defendants in New York City
Drawing on previously unpublished data and scores of interviews with judges, defendants, prosecutors, and defense counsel, this report reveals the extent of the problem. Among defendants arrested in 2008 on nonfelony charges who had bail set at $1,000 or less, 87 percent were incarcerated because they were unable to post the bail amount at their arraignment. On average, they spent almost 16 days in pretrial detention for low-level offenses. Most were accused of nonviolent minor crimes such as shoplifting, turnstile jumping, smoking marijuana in public, drug possession, trespassing, and prostitution.
- The Price of Freedom
- I. The Bail Process
- II. Who Suffers?: Bail and Pretrial Detention of Low Income Defendants
- III. Factors Influencing Judges' Bail Decisions
- IV. An Alternative to Pretrial Detention: Pretrial Supervision
- V. Applicable Constitutional and Human Rights Law