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New York City’s Bail Success Story

The Marshall Project – Judges have drastically cut back on bail and jail in criminal cases, a new study shows. And defendants are still showing up in court. “..Yet a new report analyzing more than 5 million criminal cases in New York City since 1987 suggests the city has already done a better job of slashing its use of bail and jail than nearly any other urban area in the United States. And that’s because of a culture change among judges and other decision-makers, not any change in statutes or court rules. Over the past three decades, the percentage of cases in New York City in which bail is set has dropped from 48 percent to 23 percent, while the rate at which defendants are released without having to pay money has jumped from 50 percent to 76 percent, according to data released Thursday by the New York City Criminal Justice Agency. The approximately three-quarters of defendants “released on their own recognizance” in the city (meaning free to go without cost) compares with a national average of about 45 to 50 percent and as low as 11 percent in New Orleans, according to one study…”

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