County-Level Bail Conditions in North Carolina

I previously wrote (here) about the role of money bail in North Carolina and presented 2018 county-level data on the types of pretrial conditions imposed for misdemeanors. I got so many questions about that data that we have produced it in a more comprehensive and user friendly form. Our new downloadable Excel file (here) contains two tabs, one for highest charge misdemeanor cases and one for highest charge felony cases. As with our previous report, this one presents county-level data from the NC AOC system for last condition imposed. In the default view, state level data is presented at the top of the spreadsheet with county-level data below, and with counties arrayed in alphabetical order. But because it is a downloadable file, users can manipulate the spreadsheet to show, for example, counties arrayed by highest percentage of secured bonds in misdemeanor cases (Figure 1 below) or lowest percentage of secured bonds in those cases (Figure 2 below). The statewide average for secured bonds in misdemeanor cases is 67.6%, but the range is significant, from a low of imposition in 32.9% of cases (Gates) to imposition in 87.6% of cases (Franklin). It also is noteworthy that in 2019 only five counties (Gates, Mecklenburg, Tyrrell, Camden and Hyde) imposed secured bonds in less than ½ of highest charge misdemeanor cases.

The new spreadsheet also includes data on felony cases. Statewide in 2018, secured bonds were imposed in 79.5% of those cases. But again the range is significant, from imposition in 49.3% of cases (Gates) to imposition in 95.4% of cases (Watauga). In a separate report I will present 2019 data to date; stay tuned, there are some interesting developments.

For more information about bail in North Carolina, please visit our web page here.

Figure 1. Conditions of release, highest charge misdemeanor, highest percentages of secured bonds

Figure 2. Conditions of release, highest charge misdemeanor, lowest percentages of secured bonds

2 thoughts on “County-Level Bail Conditions in North Carolina”

  1. Jessica,
    Well presented, thank you.
    Would be interested to see the county statistics on rates of appearance in court, or failure to appear at the first court setting. I suggest appearance at the first court setting because some counties calendar repeatedly with no action except another continuance, making it hard for the defendant to keep up with.


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