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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Pretrial Release Programs Vary Across the State; New Reporting Requirements Pose Challenges, Report No. 08-75, December 2008
 
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  • Pretrial release is an alternative to incarceration that allows arrested defendants to be released from jail while they await disposition of their criminal charges. Florida has 29 pretrial release programs that provide supervision for defendants charged with a wide range of criminal charges. These programs do not consider indigency as a factor for eligibility, although most of their defendants served are indigent.
  • Data is not available to compare defendants in pretrial release programs to those released on bond or on their own recognizance. However, national research indicates that failure to appear and rearrest rates for defendants released to a pretrial release program and those released on bond are comparable. Defendants released on recognizance had a higher rate of failure to appear.
  • Florida’s pretrial release programs generally are using best practices suggested by literature to help ensure defendants appear in court and are not rearrested. Some programs report that new statutory reporting requirements increase their operating costs; the Legislature could consider streamlining some requirements to improve clarity and make them less burdensome.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

State Courts System
Circuit Courts
County Courts

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 16-10 County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2015,published in December 2016.
  • Report No. 15-15 County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2014,published in December 2015.
  • Report No. 14-13 County Pretrial Release Programs Calendar Year 2013,published in December 2014.
  • Report No. 13-12 Most Pretrial Release Programs Continue to Be Compliant with Statutory Reporting Requirements,published in December 2013.
  • Report No. 12-13 Most Pretrial Release Programs Continue to Comply with Statutory Reporting Requirements,published in December 2013.
  • Report No. 11-27 Pretrial Release Programs Generally Comply with Statutory Data Collection Requirements,published in December 2011.
  • Report No. 10-66 Pretrial Release Programs’ Data Collection Methods and Requirements Could Improve,published in December 2010.
  • Report No. 10-66 Pretrial Release Programs’ Data Collection Methods and Requirements Could Improve,published in December 2010.
  • Report No. 10-08 Pretrial Release Programs’ Compliance With New Reporting Requirements Is Mixed, published in January 2010.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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