Zero bail policies increased every category of crime in Yolo County, California, the District Attorney’s (DA) office reports.
The DA’s study reveals that repeat criminal offenders who are not required to post bail are more likely to commit additional crimes than those who did post bail.
In April 2020, an emergency zero-bail policy was implemented at the direction of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The zero-bail policy was set for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, the report states.
’70 Percent Were Re-arrested’
Recidivism rates in Yolo County were tracked during the time the policy was in effect, between April of 2020 and May 31, 2021.
Under the emergency order, 595 prisoners were released with no bail and without restriction. Of the no-bail individuals, 420, or just over 70 percent, were re-arrested for new crimes. Of those reoffenders, 46 were arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, 32 were charged with robbery, and five were charged with attempted homicide.
The average period from release to re-arrest was 149 days. Sixty-five prisoners were re-arrested on new charges within a week.
The study compared criminal recidivism during the non-bail period with prior years.
One hundred individuals released from jail after posting bail in 2018 and 2019 were compared to 100 individuals released under the zero-bail policy of April 2020-May 2021.
The findings revealed a stark difference in the recidivism rates of those released on bail and those released without restriction or bail. The recidivism rate was 46 percent for those posting bail and 78 percent for the zero-bail individuals.
Individuals released without bail committed felonies 90 percent more often than those released with bail. Those released without bail committed new violent offenses 200 percent more than the individuals with bail.
Yolo County DA Jeff Reisig told CBS Sacramento the study was groundbreaking.
“It’s actually worse than we thought,” Reisig said. “I mean, those are real victims. From murder to attempted murder to kidnaping to domestic violence.”
Retail Crime Gangs
Zero-bail policies have been a failure, resulting in a dramatic increase in crime, writes Jeffrey J. Clayton, executive director of the American Bail Coalition in American Thinker. “For example, retail criminals are now organized and increasingly brazen.”
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea rejected the idea of no-bail policies in an op ed in The New York Times.
“The time has come to rethink these reforms to achieve the desired goal of a fairer criminal justice system that doesn’t undermine, but supports, public safety,” wrote Shea. “…[T]he pendulum has swung too far against the interests of victims, witnesses and police investigations.”
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