John MacDonald

John MacDonald is Professor of Criminology and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Maryland.

Voting History

Pretrial detention

Reducing the number of people detained pretrial will lead to a net increase in crime in the medium- to long-term.

Vote Confidence
Disagree 10
Median Survey Vote Median Survey Confidence
Disagree 7
Comments

If the policy is across the board release without monitoring in the community then I would expect crime to increase. If the policy is to release low level offenders and/or provide sufficient monitoring in the community then I think the evidence is that one would not expect crime to increase.

Ending the use of cash bail will meaningfully reduce the number of people detained pretrial.

Vote Confidence
Strongly Agree 10
Median Survey Vote Median Survey Confidence
Agree 7
Comments

Way too many people are held in jail because they are poor and cannot afford cash bail.

Using risk assessment to inform detention decisions will meaningfully reduce the number of people detained pretrial.

Vote Confidence
Strongly Agree 8
Median Survey Vote Median Survey Confidence
Neutral/No Opinion 5
Comments

This agreement is contingent on simple risk assessments that focus on low-risk offenders and magistrates or judges that actually follow the guidelines.