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Will Dobbie & Crystal Yang, Proposals for Improving the U.S. Pre-Trial System (The Hamilton Project Policy Proposal 2019-5, Mar. 2019).

Abstract: There are economically large costs of pretrial detention—and, by extension, the use of cash bail—due to the significant collateral consequences of having a criminal conviction on labor market outcomes as well as the direct costs of pretrial detention. In contrast, there are relatively small benefits to pretrial detention due to the relatively low costs of apprehending defendants who fail to appear in court. The existing evidence also suggests that the current pretrial system contribute to inequalities and inefficiencies in the criminal justice system.