One in Five Released Federal Defendants Commit Pretrial Misconduct


Almost one in five federal criminal defendants who were released while their cases were pending between 2008 to 2010 committed some form of pretrial misconduct, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported yesterday. Most pretrial misconduct involved violations of release conditions, such as failing a drug test or failure to maintain electronic reporting requirements.

Only 4 percent were rearrested for new offenses, and just 1 percent missed a court appearance. Some 56 percent of released defendants who committed pretrial misconduct had their release revoked. Overall, federal courts released 36 percent of defendants before the case was ended. Nearly three-quarters of federal defendants released pretrial did not pay a financial bond to secure their release. Most were released through unsecured bond (39 percent) or on their own recognizance (32 percent). Of defendants who paid a financial bond to gain pretrial release, 12 percent posted a deposit bond, 8 percent used surety bonds (or bail bondsmen) and 7 percent used collateral bonds.

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