CSAC Bulletin Article

Public Policy Institute of California Reports on Women’s Arrest Rates and Pretrial

April 18, 2019

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) recently released a report titled “A Closer Look at Women’s Arrest Rates.” The report looked at data between 1980 and 2016, and found that arrest rates in California have dropped for both men and women, however, the arrest rates have dropped significantly more for men than women.

The female share of misdemeanor arrests has jumped from 14 percent of total arrests in 1980 to 25 percent in 2016, partly due to an increase in assault and battery misdemeanor arrests. The report found that the female share of felony arrests has also jumped from 12 percent in 1980 to almost 20 percent in 2016. The PPIC recommends that the Legislature monitor arrest rates for men and women when “considering the impact of criminal justice reforms.”

Find the full report here.

 

Additionally, last month the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) published a report titled “Can Pretrial Decisions Be Improved?” which discusses concerns surrounding California’s shift from a cash bail system to the use of pretrial risk assessment tools.

The report finds that 49 of the State’s 58 counties already use some type of risk assessment tool, but notes that these tools have been somewhat controversial. The PPIC explains that they have been challenged as “unfair,” and that despite the results of the risk assessment, a judge may override the tool’s recommendation.

The PPIC states that in order to ensure transparency, it will be important to collect data on why judges decide to override the assessment tool recommendations. The PPIC believes that this data would show how well risk assessment systems work, and would identify potential sources of unfairness within the systems.

The full report can be found at the following link: https://www.ppic.org/blog/can-pretrial-decisions-be-improved/.

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