First Appearance


From the States

  • NCSL recently published a series of blogs featuring interviews with people who work with their local criminal justice coordinating councils. Check out the first, second, third and fourth installments on The NCSL Blog.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton recently announced key criminal justice reform priorities including pretrial reform, changing low-level drug crime sentences while focusing on treatment and reducing excessive prison sentences. The Justice Equity and Opportunity Initiative, led by Stratton, also released its annual report which highlighted listening sessions with over 500 stakeholders who represent community organizations, advocacy groups, law enforcement, state agencies and legislators from across Illinois.
  • Ohio’s highest court has rejected a recommendation to allow judges throughout the state to consider risk assessment tools during the pretrial release process. The court did support alternatives to financial conditions of release in the materials they submitted to the Ohio Legislature.
  • Michigan’s Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration recently released its final report and recommendations. See the executive summary for a brief snapshot of findings and recommendations or read the full report here.
  • NCSL’s Amber Widgery recently testified for the Nevada Committee to Conduct an Interim Study of Issues Relating to Pretrial Release of Defendants in Criminal Cases. More than 1,000 laws changing and regulating pretrial systems have been enacted since 2012. Watch the video here, or access committee materials here.

The Cache

In the News

  • This month, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge awarded local communities across the country an additional $8.1 million in grants to continue reducing over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. These new grants will support initiatives aimed at eliminating unfair or ineffective practices that take a particularly heavy toll on people of color, low-income communities and people living with mental health and substance abuse issues. The Safety and Justice Challenge Network is a collaborative of 51 jurisdictions across 32 states modeling and inspiring reform.
  • The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has released a new guide for helping communities address drug addiction in rural areas.
  • Former California Assemblymember Mike Gatto is putting forward a new voter initiative for the November ballot that would prosecute “quality-of-life” crimes like vehicle break-ins, public intoxication, or panhandling through a new special court to determine “whether a person committed those crimes due to economic need, a drug dependency or mental health issues.” The court would offer sentences that include housing and treatment in lieu of traditional sentences.
  • A recent report from Allegheny County shows that following the county’s first year of partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, the jail population has gone down by 7%.
  • In Arizona, Pima County is looking to expand a program allowing certain misdemeanor defendants to be screened and released in lieu of being booked into jail immediately. Estimates of the expanded program show that the new process could save up to $1.5 million per year.