The Pretrial Process in Baltimore City: An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Predicting Flight Risk
Ferguson, Sharlene Anne
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This study examines and provides a preliminary update to Baltimore City's Bail- Risk Assessment Scales. It is based on a sample of 757 recent arrestees in Baltimore City, and specifically examines factors relating to current charge severity, prior record, substance use, and community stability and their impact on Failure to Appear (FTA) in court in conjunction with guidelines set forth by the National Association of Pretrial Services Agency (NAPSA) and the American Bar Association (ABA). Results suggest that Baltimore City's Bail- Risk Assessments can be condensed into one scale and be made more simple and effective. Additionally, the results suggest that Baltimore City uses and applies reasonable risk factors, but the measures are inappropriate. Finally, the results suggest that future risk assessments must be tailored to the population for which they are applied.