Bail and Sentencing : Does Pretrial Detention Lead to Harsher Punishment?
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.
Criminal Justice Policy Review
Sacks, Meghan and Ackerman, Alissa R., "Bail and Sentencing : Does Pretrial Detention Lead to Harsher Punishment?" (2012). Social Work & Criminal Justice Publications. 30.