Over the next year, the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice will conduct research to answer the fundamental question of whether money is actually the best way to get people to return to court.
The anecdotal evidence we do have suggests the opposite may be true. Most people – 93% in New York City – who are released without bail or other conditions before trial return to court within 30 days of their scheduled court date. And the Bronx Freedom Fund – a charitable bail organization that posts bail for clients facing misdemeanor charges – has had 97% of its clients successfully return to court since 2013. This suggests that cash deposits may not actually be necessary to ensure that defendants return to court. We are testing effective alternatives to money bail – both what alternatives judges find to be most effective and what works to encourage defendants to return to court.
As we identify solutions, we will implement them. Check back for updates.