Chicago Bail Reform Did not Enhance Crime: Research

As violent crime in Chicago has been rising, police have pointed to individuals being freed on bail as a driving issue within the rising variety of shootings.

A brand new Loyola College Chicago study says that’s most likely not true, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cook County’s 2017 bail reform required judges to set reasonably priced bail for defendants they deemed might be launched with out endangering the general public.

Loyola’s examine discovered no “statistically important” change within the quantity of crime in Chicago within the yr after the reform took impact in September 2017.

After the reform, the quantity of people that weren’t required to publish any cash to be launched on bail — known as an “I-bond” — doubled. About 26 p.c of defendants obtained them earlier than the reform and 57 p.c afterward. The typical price of money bail decreased from about $9,300 earlier than the reform to about $three,800.

The variety of individuals launched earlier than trial didn’t change a lot, from 77 p.c of defendants earlier than the reform to 81 p.c after.

The prospect of somebody on bail being charged with a brand new crime whereas awaiting trial remained about the identical— 17 p.c — as did the chance of somebody being arrested for a violent offense — three p.c.

“Releasing individuals on their very own recognizance doesn’t make communities much less secure,” the examine discovered. “Taking cash away from individuals to safe their launch doesn’t make communities safer — but it surely does impose a major burden on these people and their households who’re least in a position to afford it.”

“If bail reform practices haven’t dramatically modified this yr, which we don’t consider to have occurred, then we’ve to start out all the different doable explanations for the rise in violence,” stated Loyola researcher David Olson.

“With the pandemic and with the shutdown got here a number of financial stress on communities and people.”

See additionally: Chicago Expected to Exceed 700 Homicides in 2020 

Ted Gest is president of Prison Justice Journalists and Washington Bureau Chief of The Crime Report.