Criminal Bail

How Bail Reform Is Working in Selected District Courts Gao ID: T-GGD-89-30 June 16, 1989

GAO discussed the impact of bail reform in four U.S. district courts. GAO found that: (1) the reasons why the Department of Justice detained defendants while awaiting trial changed with an increased number of detainees; (2) Justice detained only 31 percent of the defendants that it considered a risk to the community; (3) new legislation did not require prosecutors to seek pretrial detention of all defendants considered dangerous or likely to flee before trial; and (4) only a small percentage of defendants failed to appear in court or committed a new crime while released on bail.

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