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domestic abuse

Reinventing Justice: Case Studies in New Thinking

Can local justice systems prevent people who shouldn’t be detained from ending up behind bars? Sometimes all it takes is smarter communications, according to a study of an electronic alert system devised by Durham County authorities in North Carolina—one of six case studies released by the Urban Institute on promising reforms underway around the U.S.

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gavel

Arnold Foundation Launches Expansion of Public Safety Assessment Tool

In an ambitious attempt to test whether its Public Safety Assessment tool can help judges predict which defendants can be safely released before trial, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation has announced a major research and training program to make it available in 200 new jurisdictions. Ten states or counties will be selected to participate in a guided implementation of the program.

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justice scales

The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention

If you are released ahead of your trial date, you’re 14 percent less likely to be found guilty, according to an American Economic Review study. Compared to those who can’t make bail and are held in pretrial detention, your economic outlook is better too, researchers concluded in a study of court records in Philadelphia and Miami-Dade counties.

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Risk Assessment: The Devil’s in the Details

In Philip K. Dick’s “Minority Report,” criminals could be identified before they committed a crime. Computer-generated risk algorithms used by courts to determine whether individuals should be released ahead of trial have brought us a step closer to that world–and our challenge is to use them responsibly, says a George Mason University professor.

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