Determining the Fiscal and Social Costs of Various Pretrial Release Practices in Dallas County, Texas

This study, carried out on behalf of the Dallas County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB), sought to assertion whether differing release mechanism (e.g., personal recognizance, commercial bail, pretrial diversion, cash bond, etc.) in and of themselves are associated with whether a defendant absconds (fails to appear in court) and/or recidivates (commits a new crime). Also conducted was be a cost-benefit analysis across diverging release mechanisms. Data for the study were culled from official court and arrest records from all released defendants from the Dallas County Jail during 2008. Data were provided by Dallas County as well as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, in collaboration with the Dallas County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB), the Dallas County Department of Criminal Justice, and the Dallas County IT Department. The project report was released in January 2013. A complete research report and executive summary are available. Questions about this study, and/or data programming, may directed to Dr. Robert Morris.