Bail Reform in New Hampshire

Assessing its Effects Across the State
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1920-15
Monday, June 22, 2020
Bielefeld Pruitt

New Hampshire recently implemented a sweeping reform of its pretrial release and bail system, from legislation to litigation. Much of the debate with regard to the bail reform centers on Failure to Appear (FTA) rates, which, to date, have not been estimated reliably in New Hampshire. Response to this recent bail reform has been mixed. This mixed response has been the result of several factors, including the lack of empirical evidence with regard to how this bill has affected the FTA rates. While some stakeholders argue that FTA rates have increased as a result of bail reform, others argue to the contrary. Nonetheless, reducing FTA rates remains a common goal of all stakeholders. To that end, in this research we conduct a review of studies that examine factors that affect and reduce FTA rates. For context we also discuss bail reform in other states. Finally, this research provides an overview of evidence-based solutions for reducing FTA rates. We hope this report will enable members of New Hampshire State Senate Judiciary Committee to make informed decisions in forming policy aimed at reducing FTA rates in New Hampshire.