UPenn’s Quattrone Center’s Research Contributes to Significant Bail Reform

This month, a group of criminal justice stakeholders in Harris County, Texas unveiled new pretrial procedures for misdemeanor defendants that promise to drastically reduce the use of money bail and pretrial detention for individuals accused of low-level offenses. The new procedures adopt recommendations from research published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice in the Stanford Law Review in 2017 demonstrating that curtailing misdemeanor pretrial detention in Harris County can reduce wrongful convictions and shorten sentences while increasing public safety, saving taxpayers money.

The research figured prominently in District Court and Fifth Circuit opinions in O’Donnell v. Harris County, a landmark class action lawsuit addressing the unconstitutional detention of lower-income individuals who, despite their pretrial presumption of innocence, were being held in jail because they could not afford to make cash bail. A preliminary injunction in the case barring detention of poor defendants secured release for 13,000 people­, and the newly adopted reforms formalize and expand the injunction’s approach.

In addition to its research being integral in this recent ruling, the Center’s work on bail reform has been cited in legislative efforts in numerous states including Hawaii, New York, Delaware, and Georgia.

Bail reform is just one of the many important issues being worked on by the Quattrone Center, which the Charles Koch Foundation has supported since 2016.

The Quattrone Center is a nonpartisan, national research and policy hub that takes an interdisciplinary and data-driven approach to analyzing key problems with our criminal justice system. The work the Center has undertaken since its founding in 2013 is helping to deepen understanding of and inform change on critical criminal justice issues.

Read more about the Quattrone Center’s work. 

07-17-2019 02:30pm

The Charles Koch Foundation Supports TEL Library’s New Experiential Learning Project

TEL Library is pleased to announce the Charles Koch Foundation’s support for its new Experiential Learning Project and its corresponding conference.

Read more

07-16-2019 11:25am

Heterodox Academy Launches New Interactive Data Visualization from Landmark Survey of College Students on Free Speech on Campus

Heterodox Academy released a new data visualization tool that analyzes research on the issue of what college students think about the First Amendment.

Read more

07-09-2019 04:44pm

Asma Uddin, Religious Liberties Lawyer, Releases New Book on Preserving Religious Freedom for All

Asma Uddin, lawyer and legal scholar, has always had an interest in conflicts between religion and the law. Her new book, When Islam Is Not a Religion, looks at how faith in the United States is being secularized and politicized and what impact this has on religious freedom and diversity.

Read more

Sign up for updates