Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2021

Report 22-09, December 2022




Report Summary

  • Pretrial release programs supervise defendants who have been released from jail while awaiting disposition of their criminal charges. As required by statute, OPPAGA conducts an annual study of pretrial programs that meet certain statutory criteria, administering a survey to gather information from the programs. Twenty-eight programs responded to the survey regarding 2021 operations and reported serving over 71,000 defendants. Programs reported gathering defendant information, such as criminal history and other demographics, to screen potential participants. In 2021, programs that screened defendants reported that staff conducted over 120,000 interviews. Seventeen programs also reported using risk assessment tools during the screening process.
  • To remain on pretrial release, defendants must comply with all court-ordered conditions until the final disposition of their cases. Warrants for their arrest can be issued if defendants do not comply with these conditions, fail to appear for a court appearance, or commit a crime. All pretrial programs reported a rate of 8% or less for participants failing to appear in court. Pretrial programs reported varying numbers of defendant arrests. For example, the Alachua and Escambia county programs reported that 1% of program participants were arrested, while the Seminole County program reported that 17% of participants were arrested while in the program. For most pretrial programs, the rate of arrests for participants was under 8%.
  • In 2021, pretrial programs reported calendar year budgets ranging from $71,221 in Flagler County, which served 550 participants, to $8.4 million in Broward County, which served 8,758 participants. Across the state, pretrial program budgets totaled over $41 million, with county funds making up 94% of the total. No programs reported utilizing private funds, while six programs reported receiving grant funds.
  • Statute requires each pretrial program to prepare a weekly register with information about the defendants released through the program and an annual report. Pretrial programs generally complied with these statutory requirements, as 26 programs provided OPPAGA with weekly registers, and 27 programs provided OPPAGA with an annual report. However, many programs’ reports did not include all of the statutorily required data elements. 


Related Reports
  1. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2020
    Report 21-11 December 2021
  2. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2019
    Report 20-07 December 2020
  3. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2018
    Report 19-17 December 2019
  4. County Pretrial Release Programs: Calendar Year 2017
    Report 18-06 November 2018
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.
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.
annual report, arrest, bond, bondsmen, charges, Citizens Right-to-Know Act, complying, conducts investigations, criminal history, defendant fees, defendants, electronically monitors and supervises, failure to appear in court, pretrial, pretrial release, pretrial release programs, pretrial release recommendations, release on recognizance, statutory reporting requirements, survey