A California study of repeat criminal offenders found that individuals released on “Zero Bail” were more likely to commit another crime than people who posted bail.
Not only that, the expanded study by the Yolo County District Attorney found that people with no bail were more likely to commit crimes more violent than those committed by people who had posted bail.
“It’s actually worse than we thought,” Yolo District Attorney Jeff Reisig told CBS News of the study results.
Key findings in the study included:
- Individuals released on Zero Bail were rearrested for a total of 163% more crimes than individuals released on bail.
- Arrested individuals released on Zero Bail reoffended at an average rate that was 70% higher than arrestees who posted bail.
- The average recidivism rate for those released on Zero Bail was 78% over 18 months, while the average recidivism rate for those released on bail was only 46%.
- Individuals released on Zero Bail committed new felonies 90% more often than those who posted bail.
- Individuals released on Zero Bail were rearrested for two or more new crimes 148% more often than those released on bail.
- Individuals released on Zero Bail committed new violent offenses 200% more often than those who posted bail.
“The results of this recent study on the actual impacts of zero bail policies clearly demonstrate that victimization dramatically increases, and public safety is significantly compromised, when bail is eliminated as a tool for use by the courts,” Reisig said in a statement.
“A 163% increase in total crime and a 200% increase in violent crime by arrestees released on zero bail, when compared to those released by the courts on traditional bail, is the type of compelling data that should drive future discussion on any contemplated bail reform.”
At the height of the COVID pandemic, an emergency zero-bail rule minimized jail crowding and “dramatically reduced” bail costs, according to the study.
Yolo County originally published a study on “Zero Bail” in August, when it found that of the 595 individuals released on Zero Bail, 420 were rearrested (70.6%) and 123 (20% of the overall number or 29% of those rearrested) were arrested for a crime of violence (e.g. murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, and domestic violence).