Bail for criminals.

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Lance Kennedy
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Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:50 am

Something I saw on TV today.
This may apply only to my country, but I doubt it.
Apparently, 50% of all accused criminals who are released on bail commit another crime while they are on bail. The question is, should we put ANYONE on bail? If half of them commit more crimes (and they do), then bail is counter productive.

The other alarming statistic is the sheer number of released prisoners who reoffend. In the long term, it is about 80%. What is the answer ?

I note that it costs something like $100,000 per year to keep someone in prison. But if we release them, and most go on to commit more crimes, what does that cost society ? A burglar may cost society more than a million dollars a year in damage and lost goods. What of a rapist ? What monetary cost do we put on every extra rape he commits. Or a mugger ? A car thief ? Etc.

If those crimes add up to a cost to society that exceeds the $100,000 per year keeping the nasty bastard in prison, then why let him out ?

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:19 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Apparently, 50% of all accused criminals who are released on bail commit another crime while they are on bail.
That statistic may be slightly misleading.

If an offender has committed crime on his previous bail, he is unlikely to get bail the second or third time around. We really need to know if the statistic only applies to first time offenders, to get some clarity.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Gord » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:25 am

If you don't allow bail, then you are effecting sentencing the innocent to pre-trial jail.

The most effective way to prevent recidivism is to rehabilitate your criminals. There is more than one way to do that. And rehabilitation won't work if your criminals go right back into the same society from which they came -- I'm talking about gangs, poverty, organized crime, etc. A lot of criminals also have mental disorders, like antisocial personality disorder. Rehabilitating them requires a different approach from simply locking them up in a prison environment for an extended period of time.
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Dimebag » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:52 am

In my opinion there should be psychological assessment of criminals who are applying for bail, paying particular attention to personality traits related to criminality. Just a quick Google search found a research paper outlining the various personality traits associated with criminal behaviour.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5248419/

If we take seriously there being a link between criminal behaviour and certain personality traits, then maybe it might be beneficial to screen for these personality traits before a criminal is released to the public. There should be assessments of a criminals suitability for reinsertion into the general public, based on multiple dimensions of personality. Maybe this is already in place, I don't know. Merely taking into account a persons behaviour while in incarceration is not enough to make a judgement on their present state of mind and therefore their expected behaviour patterns once released. There needs to be screening to ensure there has been a transformation in character, otherwise you are merely hiding the problem for a time, then releasing it back onto society without making sure it has been dealt with properly.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by ElectricMonk » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:40 pm

Just curious: what percentage of "committing crime whilst on bail" is bail jumping?

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:45 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:Just curious: what percentage of "committing crime whilst on bail" is bail jumping?
Has thought crime been factored in?
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by ElectricMonk » Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:01 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:Just curious: what percentage of "committing crime whilst on bail" is bail jumping?
Has thought crime been factored in?

If it was, the GDP of the US would probably not suffice to post my bail.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Monster » Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:16 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Something I saw on TV today.
This may apply only to my country, but I doubt it.
Apparently, 50% of all accused criminals who are released on bail commit another crime while they are on bail. The question is, should we put ANYONE on bail? If half of them commit more crimes (and they do), then bail is counter productive.

The other alarming statistic is the sheer number of released prisoners who reoffend. In the long term, it is about 80%. What is the answer ?
I believe those numbers for the US (especially the recidivism rate) but are those numbers true for NZ and Australia?
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:37 pm

The TV comment was about NZ. I cannot comment on details since television is a pretty shakey medium for obtaining data. It was a quote given by an expert criminologist.

Obviously rehabilitation, or any other method of reducing reoffending, is to be tried. But so far, results are not dramatically good. Maybe reoffending might fall 10%, which is still good, but is it enough to justify releasing a potentially very harmful person ?

A Swedish study showed that reoffending fell simply by putting offenders into a more humane prison. E.g.. having a larger cell without the double bunking. Since the $100,000 per year cost of incarceration is mostly prison guards and other "services ", maybe society should spend more in the actual prisons to make them better places to keep a person under humane conditions ?

Another point is that most crimes, and especially violent crimes, are committed by young men of 15 to 35 years age. After 35, offending falls substantially. Maybe the more serious criminals should be locked up with no release until they turn 35 ?

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:32 am

Monster wrote: I believe those numbers for the US (especially the recidivism rate) but are those numbers true for NZ and Australia?
" In Australia overall, 44.8% of prisoners released during 2014-15 returned to prison within two years (to 2016-17)."
https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.a ... -to-prison

It would appear that Australia experiences about the same recidivism rate as the USA. :D

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:44 am

I have a problem with the premise... my bold...
Apparently, 50% of all accused criminals who are released on bail commit another crime while they are on bail.
An accused is presumed innocent, so the terminology of committing another crime presumes guilt for the first accusation. Or was that statistic based only upon those for whom guilt was proven for both the first charge plus a second charge during the time that bail was approved?

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:32 am

TJ

I understand your point. But I suspect that accused persons on bail who commit a crime while on bail are very likely to be guilty of that which they are accused of.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:41 am

I`d be more comfortable with the statistic only being for known criminals - already convicted of another crime. I`d have no sympathy for them not being granted bail.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:24 am

The balance is between the rights of the accused and the risk to the public.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:26 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:The balance is between the rights of the accused and the risk to the public.


Agreed, and I believe that is what the judge considers when deciding to grant bail, or not - bail not being a right, but rather a privilege.

Here, bail is rarely granted, and usually only for those who have confessed and are awaiting trial. Otherwise you waste in jail for 10 days with the police hoping to get you to confess, which many do, in order to get out. And for more serious charges, that 10 days can be extended several times. Guilty until proven innocent. So it is with our system as background, and a rather poor one, that I wouldn`t suggest the bail system be eliminated in places where it works.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Gord » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:59 am

Gord wrote:If you don't allow bail, then you are effecting sentencing the innocent to pre-trial jail.
Damn, I need to get more sleep before posting things! What does "effecting sentencing the innocent" even mean?

Best guess: I probably meant "effectively" but was already thinking about the ending of "sentencing" when I typed it. "You are effectively sentencing the innocent to pre-trial jail."

Sleep deprivation is cool -- it makes my own posts look to me like they're the posts of a weirdo! :hoots:






...oh, wait. Hmm. Yes, I see it now.
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:10 am

Riii.g...hh....t, blame it on sleep deprevation. I`ll try that the next time its my turn for scruteny. ;)

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:45 am

Gord wrote: Sleep deprivation is cool
I have to feed baby Auguste Temple-Ellard every three hours at night, which takes an hour and a half including a nappy change. I'm then awake all day working.

Don't tell me sleep deprivation "is cool".
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Gord » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:39 am

TJrandom wrote:Riii.g...hh....t, blame it on sleep deprevation. I`ll try that the next time its my turn for scruteny. ;)
screwtinny
Matthew Ellard wrote:Don't tell me sleep deprivation "is cool". :shock:
I meant observing the effects of sleep deprivation was cool at the time.

My sleep deprivation was more along the lines of: "Stay awake for 52 hours, then sleep for 26 hours, then stay awake for 38 hours, then wonder why the sky is so dark, then go to sleep for 12 hours, then stay awake for 29 hours, then try to post something without making spelling mistakes."

(I have all those numbers wrong, unless by chance they are all correct, which I know they aren't.)
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by OlegTheBatty » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:59 pm

Recidivism rates vary greatly with the type of crime. Murder recidivism is very low.

Most crimes are property crimes, and most of those are committed by drug abusers (they may or may not be physically addicted - crack binges eg.). Allow prescription opiates for addicts and you will kick the {!#%@} out of the property crime stats for $5k/yr or less. Incarceration for 17 years is not the only option, Lance.


I'm not sure about those on-bail crime stats. A lot more detail is needed for them to be meaningful. Around here, most low level property crimes result in ROR for the accused, not bail. If they have number of convictions, they get remand instead. Once an accused misses bail or ROR*, they also get remand, even with no prior convictions.

Rehab works if done properly. Often 'rehab' is little more than a 3 hour anger management seminar (for violent offenders) or a few sessions of addiction counselling then throw the person back into the same environment, with the same friends, as elicited the behaviour in the first place. Then squawk that rehab doesn't work.

*If they complete any sentences, including probation, without getting caught, they often go back to square one with ROR.
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California abolishes cash bail system

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Wordbird » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:11 am

Gord wrote:If you don't allow bail, then you are effecting sentencing the innocent to pre-trial jail.

The most effective way to prevent recidivism is to rehabilitate your criminals. There is more than one way to do that. And rehabilitation won't work if your criminals go right back into the same society from which they came -- I'm talking about gangs, poverty, organized crime, etc. A lot of criminals also have mental disorders, like antisocial personality disorder. Rehabilitating them requires a different approach from simply locking them up in a prison environment for an extended period of time.
They should totally do what you said, but if the statistic really is unreasonably high, whyever it is that way, it's not any nicer to sentence an innocent to be the victim of a crime than it is to sentence suspected criminals to sit in jail until they can be tried.

By all means fix the problems if they can be fixed. It's a separate issue, though. How, and if, these people can be rehabilitated, is a pressing question in its own right. If they fix it, the bail issue won't be an issue anymore.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Gord » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:28 am

Wordbird wrote:
Gord wrote:If you don't allow bail, then you are effecting sentencing the innocent to pre-trial jail.

The most effective way to prevent recidivism is to rehabilitate your criminals. There is more than one way to do that. And rehabilitation won't work if your criminals go right back into the same society from which they came -- I'm talking about gangs, poverty, organized crime, etc. A lot of criminals also have mental disorders, like antisocial personality disorder. Rehabilitating them requires a different approach from simply locking them up in a prison environment for an extended period of time.
They should totally do what you said, but if the statistic really is unreasonably high, whyever it is that way, it's not any nicer to sentence an innocent to be the victim of a crime than it is to sentence suspected criminals to sit in jail until they can be tried.

By all means fix the problems if they can be fixed. It's a separate issue, though. How, and if, these people can be rehabilitated, is a pressing question in its own right. If they fix it, the bail issue won't be an issue anymore.
There's a difference between punishing specific people on the one hand and letting those people go with some statistical probability of them hurting other people. If there were no difference between them then we would all share the guilt for the criminal actions of others, because we had done nothing to stop them beforehand. The logic would go like this: "Someone robbed a bank? That's my fault because I didn't lock up all humans in order to prevent that."
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Wordbird » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:24 pm

Gord wrote:There's a difference between punishing specific people on the one hand and letting those people go with some statistical probability of them hurting other people. If there were no difference between them then we would all share the guilt for the criminal actions of others, because we had done nothing to stop them beforehand. The logic would go like this: "Someone robbed a bank? That's my fault because I didn't lock up all humans in order to prevent that."
On an individual scale I would agree with that. On a governmental policy-making level, which is a statistical level, there's not much of a difference.

If you turn over one card, you can't know if it will be the ace of spades or not.

If you turn over all 52 in a standard deck, you will get exactly one of each card.

When the government makes a policy, they're turning over such large numbers of cards that statistics matters. If they know X% will go out on bail and hurt others, they have to account for that. If X is a small number, fine; they're free to decide that the harm imposed to criminals by locking them up before a trial is greater. If X is a large number, they're pretty much directly responsible for any statistically predictable levels of harm inflicted by those they allowed bail.

I'm saying they have the power, and it's up to them to choose the lesser harm, keeping in mind that the criminals have in all likelihood broken the law and the people they're hurting are more likely innocent. If they don't want that power, and that responsibility (which they shouldn't be forced to take) they had every option not to go into government.

I maintain my position that if you don't know, you can't act.

But they do know. Statistics gives them the information.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Gord » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:37 am

That's the problem with public policy based solely on statistics, though -- you forget what your society is based upon. If your society holds high regard for things like personal responsibility, freedom, an innocent-until-proven-guilty system of justice, and limited government, then locking up suspects before they're found guilty is going to rile some people.
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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:30 am

And just how do you avoid "riling some people ", Gord ?

It does not matter what you do. Lots of people will hate it.
It boils down to maximum benefit and minimum harm. Hopefully governments will employ experts to make that decision. People who share with competent skeptics the ability to think rationally and critically.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:23 am

Long pre-trial incarcerations lead to perfect arrest & conviction records - as the innocent too confess. That is essentially the system we have - presumed guilty until proven innocent, leading to pressure to confess, which everybody does given enough time and pressure.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:24 pm

That is a problem, TJ.

But as I understand it, those false confessions do not come from pre conviction incarceration. They come from merciless and intensive interrogation sessions by ruthless police.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:45 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:That is a problem, TJ.

But as I understand it, those false confessions do not come from pre conviction incarceration. They come from merciless and intensive interrogation sessions by ruthless police.
Of course - but giving the police the opportunity to do so is what pre-trial incarceration affords. If the suspect is not available for the coercive interrogation, they don`t confess.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:27 pm

I do not think that has anything go do with bail, though. If the police believe someone is guilty and want to interrogate that person, it will happen.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:59 pm

Yes, but not 12 hours a day, every day, until a confession is obtained. It has everything to do with bail.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:51 am

Hmmm

If police do what you say, TJ, they need their arses kicked, really hard. One interrogation session is more than enough, and even then the rights of the accused need to be protected. Sadly, there are police who are not terribly professional or ethical.

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Re: Bail for criminals.

Post by TJrandom » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:54 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Hmmm

If police do what you say, TJ, they need their arses kicked, really hard. One interrogation session is more than enough, and even then the rights of the accused need to be protected. Sadly, there are police who are not terribly professional or ethical.
Yes - my bad... not 12 hours a day, but rather 10 or more hours - (see paragraph one of this PDF) and lasting up to 23 days without charge. That can be extended as well, but most people confess long before that.

Of course a system without bail doesn`t have to work this way, but not giving bail certainly enables our rather poor system.