Project Abstract

There has been much discussion and debate about the extent to which bond practices are effective in keeping “high risk” defendants in jail–and, relatedly, have contributed to changes in crime rates in Denver. However, in part due to siloed data systems, previous efforts to review and summarize data on the outcomes of individuals arrested and booked into jail have been limited in their scope or methods.

The purpose of this project is to work with key system stakeholders, as well as community groups, to systematically examine the outcomes of individuals arrested and booked into Denver County jail. The study will aim to provide a holistic understanding of the following:

  • The characteristics of individuals booked.
  • What happened to individuals after they were booked, including whether they were screened by pretrial services and what bond/bond conditions they received, including conditions of pretrial supervision.
  • Who remained in custody, e.g., did we keep the “highest risk” defendants in custody?
  • The outcomes of the cases, including how many individuals were rebooked into custody before their original case was resolved.

This study will support the following goals:

  • Actionability: Support agency practice/decision-making and help identify policy recommendations.
  • Transparency: Support transparency and public education about the process.
  • Catalyze ongoing collaboration: Build processes to link data and employ a systems perspective, which can be applied to future work to study Denver criminal justice processes and effectiveness.


City and County of Denver, Department of Public Safety

Denver City Attorney

Denver County Court

Colorado State Judicial, Second Judicial District (District Court)

Denver District Attorney

Research Partners: 

University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab

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Categories: In Progress