Helms School of Government
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)
Douglas A. Orr
deterrence, bail reform, prosecutorial discretion, punishment, celerity, bail
Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Gilbride, Brion P., "The Impact of Bail Reform on Arrest Rates for Aggravated Assault In Two Cities" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4856.
With the recent push to implement bail reform in various U.S. cities and states, the impact of such reform was studied using aggravated assault arrest statistics for Philadelphia, a city that implemented bail reform via prosecutorial discretion, and for Pittsburgh, which had not implemented bail reform. Using the time period of January 2017 through December 2019, a quantitative analysis was completed on aggravated assault arrest counts in both cities to ascertain whether the removal of bail as a deterrent caused aggravated assault arrests to increase. Using a t-test, linear regression, and ANOVA, it was determined that bail reform had minimal (if any) influence on aggravated assault arrests in Philadelphia. While this analysis fills a gap in the literature, it also suggests that much more needs to be done if the implications and, where appropriate, consequences of bail reform are to be understood by the politicians and government officials who will make decisions regarding its implementation.