Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1987071
 


 



Race, Prediction, and Pretrial Detention


Frank McIntyre


Rutgers Business School Newark and New Brunswick

Shima Baradaran


University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

July 1, 2011

7th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper

Abstract:     
We use a large, nationally representative and detailed database on criminal defendants to predict the likelihood that the defendant will commit a crime while on bail or other forms of pretrial release. We use this likelihood to estimate an empirical model of judicial behavior. We find that large and persistent gaps in pretrial detention across race is completely explainable as a form of statistical discrimination due to the higher probability a black defendant will commit a pretrial violent crime. The results are robust to a variety of possible statistical biases, including selection bias and misspecification of functional form. We also consider more nuanced models of discrimination and find evidence that judges may be more sensitive to violent crimes committed by white defendants than black defendants.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: race, pretrial detention, bail, judge behavior

JEL Classification: K4

working papers series


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Date posted: January 23, 2012 ; Last revised: July 10, 2012

Suggested Citation

McIntyre, Frank and Baradaran, Shima, Race, Prediction, and Pretrial Detention (July 1, 2011). 7th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1987071 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1987071

Contact Information

Frank McIntyre (Contact Author)
Rutgers Business School Newark and New Brunswick ( email )
111 Washington Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
United States
Shima Baradaran
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )
332 S. 1400 East Front
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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