Since adopting the Public Safety Assessment – Court on July 1, 2013, Kentucky’s courts have achieved a truly remarkable result: They have been able to reduce crime by close to 15% among defendants on pretrial release, while at the same time increasing the percentage of defendants who are released before trial.
This report is a summary of a large-scale, two-year research project focused on the role that data and analytics can play in helping judges determine what risk defendants who have been arrested pose to public safety and whether they should be detained in jail or released prior to trial.
This study, using data from Kentucky, found that a new pretrial risk assessment could be developed to accurately forecast the risk that a defendant, if released pending trial, will commit a new crime or will fail to appear for a court date, without requiring a costly defendant interview.
This research summary presents the results of three research studies, conducted over two years, that found that extended pretrial detention is highly correlated with longer jail and prison terms, increased criminal activity after cases are over, and a decreased likelihood that defendants will return to court.
This study, using data from Kentucky, found that defendants who were detained for the entire pretrial period were more likely to be sentenced to jail and prison and for longer periods of time.
This study, using data from Kentucky, uncovered strong correlations between the length of time low- and moderate-risk defendants were detained before trial, and the likelihood that they would reoffend in both the short- and long-term.
This study, using data from two states, found that moderate- and high-risk defendants who received pretrial supervision were significantly more likely to appear for their day in court than those who were unsupervised, and that long periods of supervision were related to a decrease in new criminal activity.