Bail Reform in Chicago Appears to Have Increased Crime

A reanalysis of data from the Cook County courts suggests that as more defendants were released before trial, more crimes resulted


In a study posted on SSRN today, my colleague Professor Richard Fowles and I explore the public safety implications of recent Cook County bail reforms.  We review the Cook County Chief Judge's study of these reforms, which sanguinely asserted that as more defendants were released pretrial no additional crimes resulted.  We believe that, properly assessed, the study's own data suggests a significant increase in crimes as a result of the changes.  Our conclusions may have broader implications about the public safety dangers of bail reform.

Bail reform issues have recently been in the news across the country. Reformers and their critics have argued about the need to make the nation's pretrial release procedures fairer while at the same time protecting the public from crimes by defendants released while awaiting trial. Reformers have argued that traditional cash bail requirements for pretrial release needlessly incarcerate many indigent individuals merely because they are unable to raise the required sums. In light of that widely accepted criticism, many jurisdictions have experimented with new procedures that reduce the use of cash bail as a requirement for a defendant's release and, more broadly, that release more defendants before trial.

Bail reform critics have responded that the expanded release of defendants produces additional crimes. For example, in New York, more generous pretrial release procedures have been blamed for an upsurge in crime at the beginning of this year. As bail reform measures continue to spread across the country, debates about effects on public safety will likely be at the forefront as such reforms are considered.

We tend to agree with critics of cash bail, who argue it is not the best means for regulating pretrial release.  But the broader question of how many defendants can safely be released pretrial is the critical one.  One opportunity to empirically assess these public safety issues has recently developed in one of the nation's largest trial court systems: The Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (which includes Chicago). On September 18, 2017, the Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court (Judge Timothy Evans) implemented sweeping bail reforms by issuing an order, which was designed to reduce reliance on money bail and, more important, increase pretrial releases in Cook County courts. A year-and-a-half later, Chief Judge Evans reviewed the results of these new procedures and published a study entitled "Bail Reform in Cook County." The Bail Reform Study trumpets the fact that the new bail reforms led to a significant increase in the percentage of defendants who were released pretrial—from about 72% of all defendants to about 81% of all defendants. And the Study also argues that this increase in pretrial releases was accompanied by "considerable stability" in the "community safety rate" of the releases. Specifically, the Study claims that the new, more generous release procedures did not increase crime, stating that "[i]t should be noted that the increase in pretrial release has not led to an increase in crime" and that "bail reform has not led to an increase in violent crime in Chicago."

Such research designed to develop empirical evidence on the effect of new judicial practices is commendable. And yet, it is obviously important that any "reform" measure be a genuine improvement. Only if an empirical study reports what has happened after a change in judicial procedures can the desirability of the reform measure be fully assessed.

Professor Fowles and I have teamed up in the past, including conducting empirical research on the 2016 Chicago homicide spike (which we believe can be attributed to an "ACLU effect") and on Miranda's harmful effects on crime clearance rates.  Having closely reviewed the Study, we disagree with its upbeat conclusions regarding public safety after changes to pretrial release procedures.

The Study fails to recognize that, given that more defendants were released after the reforms, even a "stable" rate of "community safety" will inexorably lead to more crimes. That stable rate of safety—and, inversely, the stable rate of failure or public safety danger—would be applied across a larger pool of released defendants, which necessarily means that the public will suffer more crimes. In other words, at least in Cook County, more bail reform apparently means more crimes committed against the public.

In addition, we find that, contrary to the Study's suggestion of stable numbers of crimes, there appear to have been significant increases in crimes committed by pretrial releasees. The Bail Reform Study artificially allowed the pre-reform defendants more time to commit additional crimes than the post-reform defendants, observing the "before" defendants for (on average) 243 days and the "after" defendants for (on average) only 154 days.  As a result, the Study's construction skewed the results towards finding a lower recidivism rate after the change.

It is not an apples-to-apples comparison to look at one group of defendants who were released and observed for, on average, 243 days and then to compare them to another group of defendants who were released and observed for, on average, 154 days. We use Cook County data to estimate what would have happened if the Study had observed both groups of defendants for the same amount of time.  Properly estimated, the number of defendants who were charged with committing new crimes after bail reform increased by about 45%, as shown in Figure 1 below (comparing crimes by pretrial releasees before and after bail reform–with the first two columns being what was reported by the Study and the second two columns being what we estimate actually happened assuming comparable observation periods).


And, more concerning, using the same methodology, the number of pretrial releasees who committed violent crimes increased by about 33%.

In addition, as reported last week in a hard-hitting investigative report by the Chicago Tribune, good reason exists for thinking that these figures on violent crimes committed by releasees may have undercounted what actually happened after the reforms, including undercounting a significant number of homicides by pretrial releasees. And finally, as also reported by the Chicago Tribune, the number of aggravated domestic violence prosecutions that prosecutors dropped increased from 56% before bail reform to 70% after. A reasonable inference is that the increase was likely the result of batterers being able to more frequently obtain release and intimidate their victims into not pursuing charges.

Using all this information, we believe it is reasonable to estimate that Cook County's expanded pretrial release procedures led to about 930 additional crimes against persons in the fifteen month "after" period compared to the "before" period.  (For these purposes, we define "crimes against persons" as including the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports "violent" crimes of murder, attempted murder or non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated battery, and add domestic battery, battery, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and armed violence.)

These public safety harms call into question whether the bail reform measures as implemented in Cook County were clearly cost-beneficial. And because Cook County's procedures are state-of-the-art and track those being implemented in many parts of the country, Cook County's experience suggests that other jurisdictions may similarly be suffering increases in crime due to bail reform.  Accordingly, our findings may be useful to policymakers elsewhere as they consider whether and how to implement changes in pretrial release procedures.

You can download our new study here.

NEXT: New Op-Ed in the Washington Post: "The Constitution does not place a wall between the president and the Justice Department"

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  1. Looks who is back to convene another rousing meeting of Libertarians For Authoritarian Law Enforcement Practices.”

    Or, as the Conspiracy would term it, ” ‘Often’ Libertarians For Authoritarian Law Enforcement Practices.”

    1. Oh Rev….did you read the report?

      Did you read how there was an increase in the number of domestic violence cases that needed to be dropped by the the beating spouse was released on bail then…”convinced” the spouse to drop cases.

      1. Why do you assert any cases “needed to be dropped by the prosecution” after “the beating spouse . . . ‘convinced’ the spouse to drop cases?

        Do you have admissions? Court rulings? Or just some clinger speculation?

        1. Read the report Rev…

          Or don’t. And turn a blind eye to the women beaten into submission and beaten into dropping charges.

          1. I read the Police State Conspirator’s post. It relied on self-described ‘reasonable inferences,’ plenty of sketchy analysis based on incomplete information, and the like. That’s neither persuasive (let alone dispositive) in reasoned debate among adults, nor enough to incline most readers to devote time to reading the underlying, predictable right-wing polemics about the ACLU, Miranda, detention of poor people without trial, and prosecutorial righteousness. Your mileage as a clinger may vary.

            1. Uh huh. Yeah, I’m the “Clinger” because I want to prevent domestic abuse and battered women…. You’re a progressive who doesn’t seem to really care about it.

              It’s a brave new world you live in Rev.

  2. Chicago has a reputation of not prosecuting violent offenders, or giving them probation or suspended sentences. How much that matters I do not know. I also do not know how much of the bail reform results are from prosecutors and judges gaming the system to make it look worse. Chicago itself has a reputation akin to New York, suggestive of as much corrupt gaming as they can manage.

  3. You’re going to have to call it someone else besides “bail”.

  4. Leaving criminals in the street increases crime, who would’ve thunk that?

    1. Accused of crime and committing crime is not the same thing. This is the first big problem with this new study.

      The other is that they assume the rate of community safety is based on the number of accused criminals available to commit crimes. But this is a very faulty assumption, since it’s based on the general population, i.e. per-capita.

      1. For the purposes of the study, you actually can assume that “accused of crime” and “committed crime” are the same thing because the crime rates stayed the same with an increase in population due to release from bail. It’s a matter of fact, not opinion, that some of those released committed other crimes. Otherwise, the crime rate would have decreased somewhat with all these innocent non-criminals being released instead of held due to bail.

        1. Could you elaborate? The crime rate before an innocent person is put in jail should be the same as the crime rate after the innocent person is released from jail. It sounds like that’s exactly what happened.

          I couldn’t download the paper so I’m having a hard time tracking the argument.

          1. Not everyone released is innocent. That’s always been the core debate of bail reform. The easier it is to get out, the easier it is for an actual criminal to commit additional offenses. Bail reform is all about weighing the costs. It is not all that different from deportations either. When you let people loose and even a few of them commit additional crimes, you’re bringing new victims into the picture who weren’t there before and wouldn’t have been there if you didn’t insist on changes to cash bail. Likewise, victims of illegal immigration did nothing except exist, but some politicians have decided that votes, EC representation, certain types of industry, SJW politics, etc. are more important than the life, liberty and property of those adversely affected.

  5. Why are there not definite numbers?

    1. We know the # of people arrested in a certain time frame.
    2. We know the # of people released (both via bail and whatever pre-trial options there are), in a certain time frame.
    3. We know the # of people arrested – and can check if they’ve been previously released (see 2.), in a certain time frame.

    Wouldn’t 2 minus 3 give us a pretty good number for comparison across time frames?

    We release 100 people.
    80 people get arrested and we find 20 of those were previously released.

    What am I missing?

    1. Your analysis is spot-on. The difficulty has been getting the data (involving tens of thousands of defendants) from the Cook County courts–an issue the Chicago Tribune discussed in its article last week and the we discuss in our paper as well.

  6. The point of bail reform is to balance the rights of individuals against the needs of society in a different way. Of course locking people up will likely decrease crime. Hell, arbitrarily locking people up for no reason might have a net benefit to the crime rate, but it isn’t the right balance a free society would like to have.

    1. The point of bail “reform” is to buy votes.

      1. So is Republicans’ authoritarian (and selective) “law and order” campaign.

        An important difference is that the conservative side of this one is rooted in bigotry and pandering to intolerant whites.

        1. Tell that to the 90+ year old woman who was raped and died from the assault by someone who was released due to bail reform in NY.

          Oh, you cannot. Because she is dead.

          1. What’s the statistics on individuals such as that vs. the number of individuals held in custody longer than the sentence they would have served otherwise or for offenses they did not commit?

        2. You mean like those Republicans’ Joe Biden (author) and Bill Clinton (signer) “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act?” a.k.a. the 1994 Crime Act?

          O.K., got it.

          1. Well, sure Biden wrote it, and Clinton signed it, but surely there’s more to the story than that? I mean, who controlled Congress in 1994?

            1. The 103d Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. It was introduced in October of 1993, passed the House and Senate in November of 1993, and was signed into law in September of 1994.

              In 1993, the House consisted of 258 Democrats and 176 Republicans; the Senate consisted of 57 Democrats and 43 Republicans.

              1. boom. Good on the dems though because it was, as mayor mike said, “A pretty good crime bill”

            2. Uh, that would be the democrats.

        3. Ha, crickets from Kirkland.

          1. I do not respond to every silly statement by clingers.

            I would be more worried about Democratic shortcomings if Republicans weren’t so reliant on bigotry, backwardness, superstition, and anti-elite ignorance. In a world in which every Republican either embraces or appeases bigotry, the selection of who should continue to shape American progress is an easy one for educated, accomplished, reasoning citizens residing in modern, successful communities.

            Carry on, clingers. Until replacement.

      2. We live in a system where the government is supposed to govern by the consent of the people, which means they’re supposed to respond to the wishes of voters.

        1. While you are theoretically correct, the “wishes of the voters” is a difficult thing to actually get a grasp on. Way to varied, and the public is quite ignorant on a wide range of issues for a variety of reasons, such as apathy or that a topic is entirely tangential to their lived experiences.

          Secondly, a loud and boisterous minority often gets their way over a majority of voters’ opinions (if indeed they are measurable on a topic) because the majority doesn’t care much about a particular issue to vote against a politician for one stance on it or another.

          As for bail reform…Bob is right…it’s all a play for the black vote, which unlike most demographic groups, votes 90% for one party.

          1. Not a party thing in Chicago, it’s a primary election thing

            1. Not sure about that. The bail reform bug is not centered just in Chi or NYC and is happening elsewhere. The wider movement of criminal justice reform actually happening in a mostly paralyzed partisan Washington is Dems want to show black voters that they aren’t being treated like a mistress, useful for election times and then put away, and the GOP seeks to shave off some of that block vote. Even 5% more of the black vote not being treated as a given for the Dems, means that our two party system goes into flux.

              1. If the Republican Party wants more of the black vote it should ditch the bigotry. That would outrage most conservatives, though, so it is unlikely to occur.

        2. Wrong. That would be a democracy, which this is not. This is a republic, the government being defined and limited by a constitution.

          1. Emu is right, not wrong.

            Ever read the D of I?

            That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

            A republican from of government is no more than a concession that direct democracy is impractical. It’s a form of democracy. It doesn’t change the basic idea, no matter how often some moron yells,

            “We live in a republic, not a democracy.”

            1. The 17th Amendment eroded the Republic with more direct democracy. Removing the election of Senators from the State(s) and making it no different than the election of Representatives.

              1. All to the good.

                Hatred of the 17th Amendment is amazing to me. Do you see state legislatures as great exemplars of integrity and wisdom?

              2. Also popular elections of policy makers is not what direct democracy is.

          2. I phrased it the way I did because of claims of “this isn’t a democracy.” We still have a government that exists due to the consent of the governed whether you call it a Republic or Democracy (although the terms aren’t remotely inconsistent with each other based on historic practice or etymology). The alternatives would be Oligarchy or Autocracy, which I would hope we both agree the United States is not.
            The Federal government is defined and limited by the Constitution – that’s true, but it’s also a non-sequitur because, if anything, the Constitution cuts in favor of the rights of the accused and nowhere talks about holding individuals without bail prior to a conviction. We’re also talking about the city of Chicago so a government of defined powers isn’t exactly on topic.

      3. Not everyone is as unprincipled as you, Bob.

        1. Oh, yes they are, they are ALL corrupt to the core.

          1. Aren’t you edgy.

            1. That’s one word for it.

          2. “Oh, yes they are, they are ALL corrupt to the core.”

            That is what fringe-inhabiting, anti-social malcontents think. Which is why mainstream America has been stomping clingers in the culture war. And, mostly, ignoring them.

    2. “arbitrarily locking people up for no reason might have a net benefit to the crime rate”

      I don’t see how; in fact, the opposite effect seems more likely. If criminals are a minority of the population, and current arrest, jailing, and imprisonment practices are more likely to capture actual criminals than the innocent, and those practices are replaced with a random system, in which innocents are as likely to be in custody as the guilty, then the share of the population that are not in custody that are also guilty would go up. That would presumably increase crime rates per capita, no?

      1. Population doesn’t decrease, so as long as you don’t affect the total amount of crime (as most non-criminals don’t) locking you up won’t change much in any large population center.

        Now, I actually expect that reported crime per capital would decrease very slightly with total real crime not changing either way. If you lock up enough non-criminals then the share of non-criminals as victims of crime goes down, being replaced by criminals as victims. Those criminals are less likely to report such crimes, for obvious reasons.

        1. But locking people randomly will increase the share of innocent people in the incarcerated population, which will decrease the share of innocent people in the unincarcerated population, which will increase the share of criminals in the unincarcerated population, if you hold population constant.

      2. Are you not counting incarcerated individuals as part of that per capita? The per capita rate should count both those out of custody and in-custody in determining the total crime rate.

    3. So, there’s a balance between the two, bail reform and crime.

      On one end, you don’t want to take a terrorist or mass murderer (indicted, not convicted) and release them on their word before trial. The risk is simply too high of something horrible happening (or them not showing up). On the other hand, for releasing a shoplifter (again, indicted), the risk is much lower of something horrible happening. But to properly appreciate these risks, studies like this (and the one the courts did) need to be properly reported.

      If you’re a proponent of bail reform, and releasing more people, that’s fine. But if you’re going to report the rate of “redivicism” is the same or slightly down, then skewing the stats through misleading timeframes is wrong. (Re: redivicism. terminology is difficult here, because they aren’t convictions yet, but indictments)

      If you’re going to argue “sure, we had an increase in violent crimes, and more domestic violence cases were suddenly dropped, but that’s OK, because more people were free”…that’s an argument to make. But really, I’d argue that prompt, faster court cases would be much much better.

      1. “On the other hand, for releasing a shoplifter (again, indicted), the risk is much lower of something horrible happening.”
        Maybe. But most criminals are generalists, so the judge should be able to take into account if that petty larcener has a bunch of violent priors (judges are usually able to do this but I believe they cannot now with NY bail reform)

        1. And that’s a fair risk assessment as well, taking priors into account on bail releases.

      2. “On one end, you don’t want to take a terrorist or mass murderer (indicted, not convicted) and release them on their word before trial.”

        You don’t want to let any (accused) witches free to pursue witchcraft, therefore…

        Does “presumed innocent” mean something, or is it just something to say but not really mean?

        1. Every so often I say something that I don’t think people could possibly object to, like “indicted mass murderers probably shouldn’t be let out on bail.”

          And then there’s James Pollock who says “hold my beer”.

      3. I think the argument can be made that some people accused but not convicted should be incarcerated. That being said, I don’t think even that argument should be accepted without sufficient justification and each time that narrow class of people is expanded to include other individuals, the required justification would correspondingly increase.
        Prompt, faster court cases would be a good idea if protections for the accused stay the same. If lawyers aren’t adequately prepared or there isn’t sufficient time to investigate, going faster helps nothing. Likewise, if courts aren’t giving sufficient time and attention to each case, that helps nothing.

    4. “Of course locking people up will likely decrease crime.” Unless you count false imprisonment as a crime – which it is.

  7. “A reasonable inference is that the increase was likely the result of batterers being able to more frequently obtain release and intimidate their victims into not pursuing charges.”

    Another reasonable inference is that more defendants exercised their right to a trial and did not plead out to secure their release. Also, use of the term “batterers” implies guilt, disregarding the presumption of innocence.

    I’m not suggesting witness intimidation doesn’t happen, I’m certain it does, I simply suggest we consider alternative causes of dismissals as well.

    1. Defendant intimidation certainly happens under the current system – mainly because justice is often delayed for years. If you are accused of anything short of a major felony and can’t make bail, it is likely that the fastest way to get out of jail is to plead guilty. If you insist on mounting a defense because you’re innocent, your trial date is likely to be further out than your likely release date if you were already convicted.

      And every time the accused pleads guilty so he can be sentenced to time served and walk out today, he has been _criminally_ deprived of his right to a fair trial, and to a presumption of innocence until convicted. But they’ll never count _that_ crime in a study of how easing bail policies affects the crime rate, because the victims don’t get to prosecute the cops, prosecutors, and judges for these crimes, and criminals in government jobs rarely prosecute each other.

  8. I haven’t reviewed the paper yet, but I hope it’s better than the last one Prof. Cassell was promoting here, one which required that the minor insignificant data point of New York City be thrown out in order to reach its conclusions.

    1. “Often libertarian.”

  9. If anyone wants lots of anecdotal evidence of some of the results of bail reform, visit the blog Second City Cop

    Lots of stories.

    1. If the bail reforms only increased the percentage of people who get out on bail from 72% to 81% (a 9 point or 12.5% increase), how does Mr. Second City Cop know that the people who allegedly committed these crimes while out on bail were out on bail because of the bail reforms? If 87.5% of the people out on bail would be out on bail regardless of the reforms, I’m skeptical that Mr. Second City Cop is correct in attributing the crimes to bail reform.

      That said, the judge’s study showing that it hasn’t had any negative effects is terrible.

      1. The Second City cop blogger doesn’t engage in any statistical analysis. I said if you wanted anecdotal evidence, visit the blog, where there a multiple stories of Person X who was arrested with a gun but no permit to carry out on bail, later committing crime Y. Prior to bail reform, Person X would have been in jail.

        This whole process is “tail event” vs “average” as what we data points we make a decision on, and everybody is talking past each other. I’d say it was stupid, but actual lives are at stake.

        1. “Prior to bail reform, Person X would have been in jail.”

          Based on what? According to the numbers presented by the court, the vast majority of people out on bail would be out on bail regardless of whether there was bail reform. How does Mr. Second City Cop know that the alleged perpetrators in his anecdotes are part of the small subset that would have been in prison but for bail reform?

          1. Because the anecdotal stories he shares are persons who were arrested for crimes where bail wasn’t granted before reforms, I presume, like an illegal gun, to note the last two stories he posted.

            Why don’t you comment on his blog for his take? It’s open to comments.

            1. “Because the anecdotal stories he shares are persons who were arrested for crimes where bail wasn’t granted before reforms, I presume, like an illegal gun, to note the last two stories he posted.”

              I don’t see anything in General Order 18.8A that expands on the types of crimes that eligible for bail. Instead it appears to deal strictly with the monetary component. And I would be shocked if there was a policy of denying bail for an illegal gun charge. Accused murderers are frequently allowed out on bail.

              “Why don’t you comment on his blog for his take? It’s open to comments.”

              Because I don’t care about his take, and I already post comments on too many blogs as it is. People who comment on blogs are the worst.

              1. I haven’t checked Second City Cop in a decade, but that blog’s coverage of an event involving my clients was very good — and very critical of some extremely low-quality police officers.

                1. Speak of the worst, and he shall appear.

                  But thank you for putting the nail in the coffin of any passing interest I might have had in Second City Copy.

  10. LEOs and regular citizens around New York State are distraught at the bail reform there.

    1. ‘Regular Citizens.’

      Which populations of citizens are you cutting out as non-regular?

      1. Ye gads. The non-criminal class, who else. It’s a common phrase, like saying “regular joes” or some such.

        Don’t accuse someone of othering like that with zero evidence.

        1. “The non-criminal class, who else.”

          Ummm, the people who supported the bail reform in the first place but are not criminals? That’s the entire “othering” we’re talking about. Check your Venn diagram. If “LEOs and regular citizens” just means the “non-criminal class” that must mean people who support bail reforms–including the ones who haven’t committed any crimes–are by necessity part of the “criminal class” per you. Your “othering” is inadvertently worse than M L’s!

          Why are we even arguing about this? M L loves to other. He’s proud of it. And we all know what “regular citizens” means. It’s just a cheap way to swipe political opponents. Like me saying regular citizens support bail reforms. It’s lazy regardless and doesn’t need a defense.

          1. Actually, I just meant to say LEOs and also other people in the community who are not LEOs. A bunch of Sheriff departments have issued statements describing the changes and making it sound pretty horrible, and a lot of people have in turn shared and commented on this information.

            “Ummm, the people who supported the bail reform in the first place but are not criminals?”

            Um, I didn’t say that everyone, or all LEOs, felt this way. Just that, anecdotally, there’s been a really big response to this, even bridging usual political divides.

              1. “Civilians” is the word I nearly typed, but wrote regular citizens instead.

                I guess the idea is that I was smearing those not distraught as “nonregular” or not citizens. Oooh wow ok.

                1. “‘Civilians’ is the word I nearly typed, but wrote regular citizens instead.”

                  What does the frequency of these citizens’ bowel movements have to do with anything?

            1. Actually, I just meant to say LEOs and also other people in the community who are not LEOs. A bunch of Sheriff departments have issued statements describing the changes and making it sound pretty horrible,

              Sure. And they’ve flat out lied about it. Mostly because LEOs are bad people.

              1. Ok David. If that’s the case then you will be happy to specify the lies in the below statement. If you don’t, then you’re the one flat out lying. But we already know that from your claim that “[All] LEOs are bad people.” If that’s not what you meant then feel free to clarify.

                Keep in mind I’m not taking a position on bail reform policies. I suspect, but haven’t studied the issue enough to be sure, that some bail reform would be wise in some places, but that some of the recent reforms go too far, and they’ve been pushed through by radical special interest ideologues. Polls show NY residents oppose the changes by 49-37.

                Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office
                November 12, 2019
                We have had lots of questions about how the new bail reform laws taking effect January 1st will impact public safety. Listed below is just a sample of the over 200 crimes for which a defendant CANNOT be sent to jail after arraignment under the new laws. Law Enforcement and Judges will have no option but to set these people free back into our communities within hours of committing their crimes.

                We take great pride in the safety of our communities which we work diligently to protect every day. This fact will not change come January 1st but there is little doubt that these new laws will have a negative impact on public safety making our job that much harder.

                • Manslaughter in the second degree
                • Aggravated vehicular homicide
                • Criminally negligent homicide
                • Assault in the third degree
                • Aggravated vehicular assault
                • Making a terroristic threat
                • Criminal possession of a gun on school grounds/criminal possession of a firearm
                • Criminal sale of a firearm to a minor
                • Arson in the third and fourth degree
                • Money laundering in support of terrorism in the third and fourth degree
                • Promoting or possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child
                • Aggravated cruelty to animals, overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, animal fighting
                • Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree
                • Coercion in the first degree
                • Grand larceny in the first degree
                • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and second degree
                • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first and second degree, or near/on school grounds
                • Specified felony drug offenses involving the use of children, including the use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense and criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child
                • Criminal solicitation in the first degree and criminal facilitation in the first degree
                • Patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone
                • Failure to register as a sex offender
                • Obstructing governmental administration in the first and second degree, or by means of a self-defense spray device
                • Bribery and bribe receiving in the first degree, bribe giving for public office
                • Promoting prison contraband in the first and second degree
                • Resisting arrest
                • Hindering prosecution
                • Tampering with a juror and tampering with physical evidence
                • Aggravated harassment in the first degree
                • Directing a laser at an aircraft in the first degree
                • Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree
                • Enterprise corruption and money laundering in the first degree

          2. But hey thanks for the gratuitous denial of the benefit of the doubt.

            “M L loves to other. He’s proud of it.”

            What’s this mean anyway?

            1. I’m not interested in lectures about the benefit of the doubt from people who define their way to victory with “regular citizens”. I don’t have to be. Since you’re irregular, or some shit.

          3. I object to the diagram as written, if “LEOs” are categorically excluded from “criminals”.

  11. I wonder if you could define the “community safety rate” that plays a part in this.

    Apologies if it’s in the paper. I didn’t see it.

    1. It’s a kinda bizarre way of reporting it. It’s on page 14. It’s basically the percentage of people released on bail who remain crime free (arrest and charges free) until their court hearing.

      So, if you release 10 people on bail, and 1 person is picked up for a new crime before their hearing, you have a community safety rate of 90%.

      1. Meh. Why not call it the “inept law-enforcement rate”?

        If you release 10 people on bail, and they call commit further crimes but not of them get caught, you have community safety rate of 100%… although the community probably isn’t very safe.

  12. The purpose of bail, or its denial, is to ensure that the accused will show up for trial. An indictment is not a determination that the person indicted is a criminal “type” and therefore should be locked up. The author seems to wish to combine grand and petit juries into one, to get as many people off the streets as possible. From what I hear, being incarcerated is not pleasant. Perhaps we should avoid locking people up who are, you know, “innocent until proven guilty”?

    In their “homicide spike”, Professors Cassel and Fowles say ” The costs of crime — and particularly gun crimes — are too significant to avoid considering every possible measure for reducing the toll.”

    Well, why not follow the “reasoning” of Michael Bloomberg on the subject? Perhaps we should just incarcerate every black man from age 16 to 25. DNA testing has reached a level of accuracy that would ensure “racial justice”. Alternatively, we could offer cash bonuses to pregnant black women to abort male fetuses. Or we could amputate the trigger fingers of any black male who shows indications of violence. Or we could just geld black men at birth, as is done with farm animals. I could make further suggestions, but my fear is that the good professors are already nodding so vigorously their heads are in danger of falling off.

    1. The author is just reporting on data. His wishes play no role in it.

      1. It’s bad enough that you are daft enough to assert that. Are you also genuinely stupid enough to believe that?.

    2. A better solution would be to lower the prevalence of men, aged 16-25, with IQs of 75-90. Sterilizing men and women, regardless of race, with low IQs, would eliminate most of this crime.

      1. Oh I don’t know; I’ve met a lot of smart people in my life (former board member, American Mensa), and my impression is that smart people as a group are no less prone to criminality than stupid people are. By virtue of being smart they are better at covering their tracks and otherwise avoiding consequences than stupid people are.

        1. You’re either delusional or dishonest, pick which.

          1. Why can’t I be both, like you?

  13. That pesky due process clause leading to more crime! Let’s just ignore it. If the government accuses you, you’re probably guilty. I think we’re all in favor of less crime.

    1. Well, we’re dealing with a guy who seem sto lament the fact that Miranda reduced confession rates.

  14. A well put together study. Nicely done.

    1. Are you an experienced peer-reviewed researcher, a lawyer, or just some downscale clinger commenting about things you are not qualified to assess?

  15. Let criminals out of jail and is anyone really surprised the crime rate goes up?

    1. Until they’re convicted, they aren’t criminals.

      1. Unless there’s something very out-of-the-ordinary going on in Chicago, a very high percentage of the people charged with crimes have been previously convicted—and thus are, inarguably, criminals.

        1. Well, since a lot of people HAVE been previously convicted, obviously anyone charged with a crime must be a criminal. You’ve convinced me.

  16. This is the same issue as with guns: Second Amendment absolutists do not care that tens of thousands of Americans are killed every year by guns; they view that as the cost of living in a free society.

    Well, the right to reasonable bail is in the Constitution too. So maybe an increase in crime is just the price we pay for living in a free society. Or at least a freer society than it would be otherwise.

    1. No. We don’t think your “common sense reforms” would actually reduce many of those “tens of thousands” at all. I put both in quotes, because both are lies, naturally.

      1. Suppose I were to convince you that there are tens of thousands of gun deaths and my common sense reforms would reduce them. Would you then support my common sense reforms, or would you then say that gun deaths are the price we pay for living in a free society?

        I just looked it up. Last year there were just over 17,000 gun deaths in the US. Strictly speaking that’s not “tens of thousands” but it’s still enough for my point to stand.

        1. Suppose I were to convince you that there are tens of thousands of violent crimes and my common sense reforms to the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments would reduce them. Would you then support my common sense reforms, or would you then say that violent crimes are the price we pay for living in a free society?

          1. Maybe, as long as your common sense reforms don’t involve depriving people of liberty without due process of law.

            1. The problem with that standard, as usual, is disagreement about just what “process” is “due”.

  17. I have a compromise: for those defendants who are denied bail or required to pay such a high bail they can’t meet it, should the state fail to take them to trial they must pay the 150% of that person’s wages or $200 a day, whichever is greater.

  18. Bail isn’t about keeping offenders off the streets. Bail is about making sure the accused shows up for the trial.

    1. So would you feel better if we just deny bail entirely? U.S. v. Salerno allows that

      1. Seems reasonable. Why don’t we REALLY reduce crime, and just go ahead and lock everybody up?

  19. By all means let us continue a system that incarcerates people for months or years, without trial, because it would be inconvenient for us to actually do it right

    No one here apparently can remember ever doing anything wrong, or the possibility of such, which might result in an arrest. Also has never been broke enough not to have 100 or 500 dollars. Or parents with same

    2 weeks without showing up means you are jobless, which means you are homeless.

    That all your parents are wealthy enough for this not to be a problem for YOU does not mean it is not a problem for others

    Do bail reform correctly, don’t pretend imprisoning the innocent is a necessary thing

  20. OP bringing an utility argument to a moral philosophy fight.


  21. Studies after changes in the law has been made cannot prove anything because there is no way to run a control experiment – i.e,. show what would have happened if the law had not been changed. Everything has changed when the law changes so you cannot compare outcomes after the change with outcomes before the change. No cases are identical, no defendants are identical. Anecdotal evidence can never be conclusive.

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