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OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Pretrial Release Programs Vary Across the State; New Reporting Requirements Pose Challenges

Report 08-75, December 2008




Report Summary

  • Pretrial release is an alternative to incarceration that allows arrested defendants to be released from jail while they await disposition of their criminal charges. Florida has 29 pretrial release programs that provide supervision for defendants charged with a wide range of criminal charges. These programs do not consider indigency as a factor for eligibility, although most of their defendants served are indigent.
  • Data is not available to compare defendants in pretrial release programs to those released on bond or on their own recognizance. However, national research indicates that failure to appear and rearrest rates for defendants released to a pretrial release program and those released on bond are comparable. Defendants released on recognizance had a higher rate of failure to appear.
  • Florida's pretrial release programs generally are using best practices suggested by literature to help ensure defendants appear in court and are not rearrested. Some programs report that new statutory reporting requirements increase their operating costs; the Legislature could consider streamlining some requirements to improve clarity and make them less burdensome.


Related Reports
  1. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2018
    Report 19-17 December 2019
  2. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2017
    Report 18-06 November 2018
  3. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2016
    Report 17-12 December 2017
  4. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2015
    Report 16-10 December 2016
Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by email OPPAGA@oppaga.fl.gov, telephone (850) 488-0021, or mail 111 W. Madison St., Room 312 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475.
Pretrial Release Programs, Release on recognizance, Bond, failure to appear, jail, court, citizens right to know act