Pretrial Release


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The pretrial system provides an interesting snapshot of the domino effect of our economic conditions over the last 5 years. Court cuts in many jurisdictions mean longer waits for adjudication of a case. Longer waits mean more incarceration time for defendants who are nonviolent, but can’t afford bail. And higher unemployment means even more people can’t afford bail regardless. The result: 60% of jail inmates are reportedly awaiting disposition of their case, not serving time for conviction. And 3/4 of those are nonviolent and accused of property, drug, or other nonviolent offenses.

In 2012, the National Association of Counties came out in support of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring, in conjunction with its House Arrest capabilities, as an effective alternative to incarceration for pretrial defendants.

SCRAM Systems alcohol monitoring tools are widely used to screen and assess offenders for varying levels of alcohol dependence as part of pretrial assessment, as well as monitor compliance with pretrial conditions while awaiting adjudication.

Pretrial Release Statistics

  • 60% of jail inmates are awaiting disposition of their cases, not serving time for a conviction
  • 3/4 of those are accused of property, drug, or other nonviolent offenses
  • Correctional surveys show a 317% increase in jail populations between 1980 and 2009






Additional Resources