Many communities around the country are utilizing some form of Pretrial Release programs. In short, defendants are released with little or no financial obligation to themselves or another person, and in the case of gross misdemeanors or felonies, or where there was a victim, the defendant is subject to pretrial conditions.
These conditions vary based on the actual crime, and the defendant are supervised by taxpayer funded employees of the state, county, or local municipality. The supervising department typically has many employees who are paid salaries, benefits, retirement plans, and they have a fleet of vehicles, all paid for by the taxpayers. Each supervising agent may have hundreds of defendants in their charge, and, if the defendant fails to appear for court or goes into warrant status, the defendant’s file is simply closed until they are arrested and released again.
In many of the communities that have enacted pretrial release, the programs have been shut down because of cost to the taxpayers and their ineffectiveness.