Title

Bail and Sentencing : Does Pretrial Detention Lead to Harsher Punishment?

Publication Date

10-19-2012

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Previous research on judicial decision making has shown that legal factors, such as offense severity and prior criminal record, exert a strong impact on sentencing decisions. In addition, studies have demonstrated that demographic factors, such as race and gender, also influence sentencing decisions. This study utilized a sample of (n = 975) cases collected by New Jersey’s Criminal Disposition Commission, tracked from arrest through disposition, to assess the factors that influence sentencing decisions, with a specific focus on the role of pretrial release status. The authors found that pretrial detention does not influence the decision to incarcerate; however, pretrial detention does significantly and negatively affects the length of the sentence in cases that involve a sentence of incarceration.

Publication Title

Criminal Justice Policy Review

DOI

10.1177/0887403412461501

Version

pre-print, post-print

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