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Open Roads and Overflowing Jails: Addressing High Rates of Rural Pretrial Incarceration

The decades-long growth in rural pretrial incarceration has taken a toll on taxpayers and individual liberties. The latest research by Marc Levin and Michael Haugen unveils growth contributors and makes evidence-based recommendations to improve public safety while reducing the number of defendants held on pretrial detention. Solutions outlined in the paper include reducing the number of jailable offenses, expanding police diversion, and utilizing validated risk-assessments at intake, among others.

Research findings suggest “that the observed higher recidivism rates [among pretrial detainees] could be the result of a loss of community stability, as a protracted jail stay undermines employment, housing, marriages, and other protective factors,” wrote the authors. “Therefore, the economic impact of excessive pretrial incarceration not only includes incarceration costs before and after adjudication, but also the fiscal and human costs of increased recidivism.”

2018-04-RR-Rural Pretrial Incarceration-CEJ-Levin Haugen
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