According to a new Pretrial Justice Institute report, extensive data prove that risk assessment instruments (RAIs) used on individuals seeking release pretrial are inherently flawed. They don’t accurately predict flight risk or violent crime offense risk, and are making assessments with biased data.
A Colorado county has joined the list of U.S. jurisdictions weighing whether to make jail reforms implemented after COVID-19 a permanent feature of their justice systems. The county stopped housing most of its pretrial detainees who were charged with nonviolent offenses.
Reducing the number of people held in pretrial detention and ensuring public safety are “not mutually exclusive,” Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge for the New York Court of Appeals, told a Webinar exploring the impact of New York’s historic bail reform law Wednesday.
Borrowing the old adage to never let a good crisis go to waste, live video technology is giving individuals cut off by COVID-19 from pretrial diversion services access to treatment and counselling as an alternative to prison, writes the executive director of the Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative.
Kentucky was one of the first states to use risk assessments to help decide pretrial release decisions. Studies have found that the state’s judges rely on them less and that some racial disparities remain.
Between April and June, 81 percent of jurisdictions increased releases from jail for persons awaiting trial, according to a nationwide survey of pretrial services agencies. The fact that crime rates remained relatively stable suggests that changes made in the era of the coronavirus should become permanent, survey leaders said.