Felony suspects released without bail thanks to New York’s bail reform law are more likely to be rearrested for more felonies, including violent crimes, than suspects who were given bail before the law went into effect.
A study by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice reviewed cases prior to the New York law taking effect and cases after the law was implemented where most suspects arrested for crimes are not required to pay any bail to be released from jail.
Overall, the study found that 47 percent of New York City suspects previously charged with felonies were rearrested for crimes — including more than 31 percent of whom were rearrested for felonies, more than 17 percent rearrested for violent crimes, and almost four percent rearrested for firearm charges.
In all three categories, felonies, violent crimes, and firearm charges, felony suspects had a higher rate of rearrest after they were released without bail than those who were arrested and required to post bail before the new law went into effect.
New York City suspects with criminal histories, in general, had a 62 percent rate of being rearrested after having been released without bail, including 36 percent who were rearrested for felonies, 22 percent rearrested for violent crimes, and more than four percent for firearm charges.
Perhaps most significantly, the study revealed that suspects with prior violent crime records in New York City had a much higher rate of being rearrested after being released without bail than those who were locked up with bail before the law was implemented.
Of the more than 1,000 violent crime suspects reviewed by researchers, more than 72 percent were rearrested compared to fewer than 62 percent who were rearrested before the bail reform law.
Similarly, these violent crime suspects were rearrested for felonies at a more than 50 percent rate after being released without bail and rearrested for violent crimes at an almost 36 percent rate. Compare that to before the law when these suspects were rearrested for felonies at a 38 percent rate and a 24 percent rate for violent crimes.
The research on New York’s bail reform law echoes research in other states and cities that have nearly identical bail policies.
In Yolo County, California, for instance, 70 percent of suspects released without bail went on to be rearrested for additional crimes. Many of those suspects were rearrested for violent crimes like homicide, rape, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic violence.