New Study Shows California “Zero Bail” Policies Ineffective and Increase Recidivism

( – A recent study compared California repeat offenders who were released with low cost or $0 bail to those who had to post bail and found the former were more likely to re-offend, to re-offend faster, and 200 times more likely to commit violent crimes.

The study was published by the office of Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, who called “Zero Bail” policies “horrific,” especially the effects such policies have had on violent crime. It was conducted as a follow-up study to a similar one conducted last August.

Reisig said there are “more people being shot at, stabbed, assaulted, robbed, [and] beaten,” and that the number of victims “are staggering under zero bail.” According to Reisig, the study results demonstrate that it is “a completely failed policy.”

Some of the notable findings of the study showed that those released without bail tended to be arrested again on 163% more charges than those who paid for bail. They were also more likely to re-offend by $70, and 90% of those reoffences lead to felony charges. They were also three times as likely to involve violent crimes, which went up “as soon as zero bail was implemented in our county by court order,” stated Reisig.

The study also found suspects who didn’t have to pay for bail or paid a reduced bail were more likely to be arrested on new charges within 129 days, almost 60 days sooner than those who paid normal bail. Overall, “Zero Bail” policies correlated with a drastic spike in recidivism and seem to incentivize criminals by making them feel more comfortable reoffending.

Aside from “zero bail,” another factor compounding the crime problem is the increased demoralization of the police in general, which is becoming more and more undesirable as a career choice since the summer of riots following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Departments across the nation are facing staff shortages. Every major city saw a spike in crime in 2021 and a mass exodus of police officers, and now the trend is spreading to other smaller cities.

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