Studies of bail and pretrial release show that “approximately 61% of the individuals held in Texas county jails have not been convicted of any crime.” People kept in jail solely because they can’t afford to get released also have a higher chance of getting rearrested in the future.
The study summary goes on to say that in Wichita County, Texas, “being indigent reduces a defendant’s chance of bond by about 16%. Indigence was the primary determining factor in whether a defendant bonded out—NOT the seriousness of the current charge or criminal history.” It also took almost twice as long for the poorer defendants to get released from jail.
The study goes on to say that the people who were able to get released on a bail bond had a ” 30% better chance of having the charges against them dismissed and there was a 24% less chance of being found guilty.”
If someone can’t get released on a bail bond, there is also a much higher chance of them pleading guilty to a charge, whether or not they are actually guilty, just to be able to get out of jail. They will already have been waiting one or two weeks to go to court, and that time can be used as jail credit for the current charge.