Report Finds Bail Reform Tied to Increased Crime
Bail reform has been a major element of the criminal justice reform movement advanced by progressive politicians, activist groups and much of the media, for at least a decade. The narrative is that reducing or eliminating bail, even for violent arrestees, is necessary to address racial bias in the criminal justice system, because a disproportionate cohort of black and Hispanic suspects are held in jail on bail awaiting trial. The fact that blacks and Hispanics commit a disproportionate amount of crime is ignored in this narrative. Toward the end of the last decade several liberal state legislatures adopted no-bail laws, and during the pandemic, several others eliminated or reduced bail via executive orders. In more than a few big cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and New York progressive district attorneys announced their own zero bail policies. New York City had all of these elements. The state adopted a bail reform law that took effect in 2020, and both the city’s mayor and district attorney enthusiastically enforced it. In a recently-released study, Manhattan Institute scholar Jim Quinn takes a hard look at the effect that progressive bail reform has had on crime in the Big Apple.