As Bail reform sweeps the country, several unintended consequences are occurring. As previous posts have stated, the failure to appear rates are skyrocketing in jurisdictions that have adopted some type of reform.
Harris county Texas jumped to almost a 40% increase in FTAs, after eliminating bail as an option of release for several types of crime. Proponents of Bail reform have stated that there are thousands of people languishing away in jail every day, oftentimes for nonviolent crimes, simply because they cannot afford bail.
This narrative is false, and very narrow minded. We are beginning to see areas that have started to limit bail, have the exact opposite result of what the reformers had in mind.
In Baltimore, Maryland, the Court of Appeals adopted a rule change that essentially limited the number of defendants that were given Bail as a method of release. Since the ruling, the average number of defendants being held in jail has increased by 23%.
Could this be because judges were following the court ruling initially, only to see a dramatic increase in Failure to appears? This catch and release system creates very little offender accountability, and these are the are the types of unintended consequences that occur.