Zero Bail fail: no-bail policy study shows disastrous, violent results

by Jacob Fuller

Curt Flewelling, FISM News

The Yolo County, California District Attorney’s office recently published a randomized study on the effects of zero bail policies on the community. The findings are troubling — to say the least — as they show that a large number of offenders who were not required to post bail continued to commit crimes at an alarming rate.

The study examined recidivism during an 18-month period comparing a random sample of 100 arrested individuals who were released from jail on bail in 2018 or 2019, to the same demographic who were released from jail and did not have to post bail in 2020 and 2021.

The study found:

  • Individuals released on Zero Bail were subsequently 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.
  • Individuals released on Zero Bail committed new felonies 90% more often than those who posted bail.

“The impacts of zero bail on violent crime are obvious, and they are horrific. I mean, we have more people being shot at, stabbed, assaulted, robbed, and beaten. These are real victims — and the numbers are staggering under zero bail,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said about the study.

Not everyone shares DA Reisig’s view on no-bail policies. Yusef Miller with the North County Equity and Justice Coalition said, “The bail system, in general, is very classist and impacts people of color more heavily. It tends to be people in the lower class economically that can’t afford to bail out either way, so then they have to suffer and wait for these delayed trials until they have their hearing.”

However, the debate is far from a conservative/liberal argument, as Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared at an NYPD news conference, “Our criminal justice system is just insane, the no bail policy is failing to keep recidivists in pre-trial detention. It is dangerous, it is harmful, and it is destroying the fabric of our city.