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justice

Can Alternatives to Money Bail Work?

A New York City experiment that used partially secured and unsecured bonds suggests that these are viable alternatives to a system that puts thousands of individuals behind bars awaiting trial because they can’t afford to make bail, according to a September 15 report by the Vera Institute of Justice.

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Risk Assessment: The Devil’s in the Details

In Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report,” criminals could be identified before they committed a crime. Computer-generated risk algorithms used by courts to determine whether individuals should be released ahead of trial have brought us a step closer to that world–and our challenge is to use them responsibly, says a George Mason University professor.

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Getting Bail Right

Releasing the wrong defendants can increase the risk that they won’t appear in court as directed—or commit additional crimes. But holding people unnecessarily can be costly. A series by The Sentinel studies the impact of bail decisions in two Pennsylvania counties.

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Insurance Firms ‘Corrupt’ U.S. Bail System: Report

In a special report, the ACLU and Color of Change say just nine insurers underwrite the majority of bonds issued in the U.S. Another report from Texas A&M University , which compares pretrial strategies in two Texas counties, says “automated risk-assessment” tools are fairer for defendants, cost less and improve public safety.

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