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Examining Federal Pretrial Release Trends Over the Last Decade

Volume 82 Number 2
September 2018

The authors examine key patterns within the federal pretrial system during a ten-year period spanning fiscal years 2008 through 2017, discussing how rising pretrial detention rates led to the development of an actuarial tool (the Pretrial Risk Assessment instrument or PTRA) meant to guide release recommendations and decisions. Major findings are presented, and the authors discuss the implications for the federal pretrial system.