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Study: Suspects released on $0 bail had 2x felony rearrests, 3x violent crime rearrests

The study was spurred after hundreds of suspects were released on zero-dollar bail during the COVID-19 pandemic and then rearrested in Yolo County, Calif.

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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

By Sarah Calams
Police1

YOLO COUNTY, Calif. — A new zero-dollar bail study in Yolo County, California, has gathered startling data surrounding the rearrest rates of suspects who were released without posting bail to those who had to post bail.

The study, spearheaded by the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, found that suspects released on zero-dollar bail were twice as likely to be rearrested for new felonies, and three times as likely to be rearrested for violent crimes compared to those who posted bail.

According to CBS News, the study was spurred after hundreds of suspects were released on zero-dollar bail during the COVID-19 pandemic and then rearrested in Yolo County. In fact, more than 70% of people released on zero bail over the 13 months the policy was in effect were rearrested, according to the Yolo County DA.

The study compares “a random sample of 100 suspects released on zero-dollar bail between 2020 and 2021 … to 100 suspects who did have to post bail in 2018 and 2019,” Yolo County DA Jeff Reisig said.

“The whole point of this study is not to debate the merits of some type of bail reform. It’s to look at the issue of zero bail where people are being automatically released,” Reisig said.

Under the zero-dollar bail system, Reisig said suspects were released by jailers, not judges. “I’m convinced, based on the data, that judges would have held people on bail,” he said.

Read the full study below.

Zero Bail vs Posted Bail Study

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