Pretrial programs cut down on overcrowding; but are they worth it?

Pretrial programs cut down on overcrowding; but are they worth it? (Image 1)

The two men of the men accused of beating a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor to death on a quiet street near campus had both been released from jail less than a month before the murder.

Police arrested Derick Davis II, 23, and Troy Arrington Jr., 27, Wednesday night after Feng Liu, 59, of Durham, was found severely beaten around 1 p.m. on West University Drive.

Davis was released from the Wake County Jail a day before the beating and robbery of Liu, authorities said. Davis was held in the jail from June 28 through July 22 on shoplifting charges.

Late Friday afternoon, the Durham County Criminal Justice Resources Center said Arrington was released from the Durham County Detention Facility on July 2 after posting bond for charges of larceny of a dog and other stealing charges.

DCCJRC said Arrington was fitted with electronic monitoring and he complied with conditions of his release. He was wearing the monitoring device when arrested in the Liu case.

On Monday, WNCN Investigates asked to speak with the director of the Criminal Justice Resources, but phone calls and emails were not returned. However, records show an inmate re-committing a crime while on pretrial release is nothing new.

In 2013, 1,275 inmates were on pretrial release — 78 percent of them followed all the rules and showed up to every scheduled court case.

Seven percent of them — nearly 90 inmates — picked up a new charge while on release. Another 7 percent of them were sent back to jail for not following program rules.

In 2012, 73 percent successfully made it through the pretrial release program, and 11 percent were re-arrested for new charges.

The goal of the pretrial release program is cut down on jail overcrowding. Reports estimate the program saved the prison system last year up to $2.7 million.


Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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