This study of arrests for firearm-related felony offenses finds that individuals charged with committing a firearm-related felony in more socioeconomically advantaged neighborhoods receive higher bail than those arrested in less advantaged neighborhoods.
Drawing on the minority threat and focal concerns theoretical perspectives on criminal justice outcomes, the current study of arrests for firearm-related felony offenses in St. Louis examines the effect of neighborhood context on formal charges, bail, pretrial detention, and sentencing. The study finds that individuals charged with committing a firearm-related felony in more socioeconomically advantaged neighborhoods receive significantly higher bail than those arrested for the same crimes in less advantaged neighborhoods. High bail increases the length of pretrial detention, which in turn raises the probability that the individual is sentenced to prison rather than placed on probation. The results highlight the importance of modeling the cumulative process of case disposition when assessing the influence of community context on criminal justice decision-making. (Published Abstract Provided)
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