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Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Downstream Effects Of Bail And Pretrial Detention On Racial Disparities In Incarceration, Ellen A. Donnelly, John M. Macdonald Jan 2018

The Downstream Effects Of Bail And Pretrial Detention On Racial Disparities In Incarceration, Ellen A. Donnelly, John M. Macdonald

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology

Bail and pretrial detention decisions may have important consequences for racial disparities in incarceration rates. Poor minority defendants who are unable to post bail and get released from jail before trial may be more likely to plead guilty and accept longer sentences of incarceration. Racial disparities in incarceration sentences may then reflect a combination of differences in the seriousness of a defendant’s case, criminal history, and economic resources to pay bail. This study examines the extent to which bail decision-making and pretrial detention explain Black-White disparities in criminal adjudications and sentences in the Delaware courts from 2012 to 2014 ...