The Hidden Costs of Time Spent in Pretrial Detention

Date: February 21, 2023

Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Eastern

# CE Hours: 1.5

Not able to attend this free webinar? All registrants will receive a free recording of the webinar if the registration form is submitted.

Webinar Description

Pretrial detention is consequential for individuals, families, and communities. When people are incarcerated pretrial, they are unable to work, take care of their families, or meet their daily obligations. Surprisingly, few people are denied pretrial release. Rather, most people detained pretrial are incarcerated because they were unable to meet the financial burden of their bond. Legal actors grapple with the tradeoff between the public safety aspects versus the unintended negative aspects of pretrial detention. There is a tenuous link between detention and recidivism generally, but little research studies the association between pretrial detention and crime and punishment.

During this MHS Public Safety Webinar, Dr. Ian Silver, Quantitative Criminologist at RTI, and Matthew DeMichele, Ph.D., Senior Research Sociologist at RTI and Director, Center for Courts and Corrections Research, will present research from multiple counties in different regions of the U.S. to test the criminogenic and punitive nature of pretrial detention. The results from multiple difference-in-difference models produce evidence suggesting that the time spent in pretrial detention is associated with negative outcomes during pretrial. The effects of pretrial detention, moreover, differed by the biological sex of the defendant. The policy implications of these results are discussed within the broader pretrial system, focusing on efforts to reduce the negative outcomes associated with pretrial detention.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this webinar, you will be able to…

  1. Describe how time spent in pretrial detention could influence negative outcomes during pretrial supervision
  2. Evaluate the potential broader effects of pretrial detention on the lives of defendants
  3. Discuss the effects of time spent in pretrial detention on failure to appear, new criminal arrest, new violent criminal arrest, and convictions.
  4. Identify and develop policies that could potentially reduce the effects of time spent in pretrial detention on outcomes during pretrial

Presenter Bio(s)

Ian Silver is a Quantitative Criminologist with RTI’s Center for Courts and Corrects. Dr. Silver’s formal training as a quantitative criminologist focused on Criminal Justice Policy has created an interest in applying statistical theory and techniques to generate causal inferences from non-experimental data. As such, his primary career focus is on conducting high-quality research in the social sciences focused on applying, developing, and evaluating advanced quantitative techniques. Dr. Silver’s recent work has appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Justice Quarterly, and the Journal of Experimental Criminology.

Matthew DeMichele, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Sociologist in RTI’s Applied Justice Research Division. He is the Director of the Center for Courts and Corrections Research and has conducted criminal justice research on correctional population trends, risk prediction, terrorism/extremism prevention, and program evaluation. Matthew has worked with local, state, and federal agencies and philanthropic partners to conduct research to address complex policy issues. His research has recently been published in several outlets, including Crime & Delinquency, American Sociological Review, and Criminology & Public Policy.

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