First Appearance


From the States

  • Visit NCSL’s new Front-End Justice webpage. This webpage is your resource for research and information on front-end justice policy, including information about law enforcement, pretrial release and behavioral health.
  • NCSL recently published State Trends in Law Enforcement Legislation: 2014-2017. Learn about recent legislative trends, including alternatives to arrest and regulation and expansion of law enforcement technology such as body-worn cameras and drones.
  • With the enactment of SB 10, California is the first state in the nation to eliminate cash bail, but it follows a dozen other states and Washington, D.C., which have already legislated a move toward risk-based systems of pretrial release. While still on the books, money bail is virtually nonexistent in jurisdictions like New Jersey and D.C.
  • As Wisconsin Legislative Council continues to study its state’s pretrial system, it’s examining earlier efforts undertaken in Dane County that utilized the Sequential Intercept Model to map current resources and identify opportunities for community-based solutions for justice-involved individuals with mental illness. Learn more in this video.
  • The Utah Judicial Council Standing Committee on Pretrial Release and Supervision is working with Harvard Law’s Access to Justice Lab to evaluate the use of the Public Safety Assessment in five Utah counties.
  • New from Minnesota House Research: Bail in Minnesota. This report highlights fundamentals of bail and bonds, as well as the roles of legislatures and courts in setting bail.
  • The Kansas Supreme Court Ad Hoc Committee on Bonding Practices, Fines and Fees in Municipal Courts has offered up 18 recommendations in its final report.

The Cache

In the news

  • A federal district court in Texas enjoined Dallas County from using its bond schedule to set bail without regard to the arrestee’s ability to pay—finding the wealth based system “violates indigent arrestees’ constitutional rights.”
  • NFL players and owners are lending their platform to the issue of bail reform, including organizing “listen and learn” sessions to inform and seek help from businesses, community members and government leaders.
  • $5 million is the goal to bail out more than 500 women and teenagers from New York’s Rikers Island. This could be one of the largest mass bailouts in the country, but it has prosecutors concerned about public safety.
  • At the state and local level, lawmakers are coming together from both sides of the aisle on the issue of cash-bail reform.
  • Miami-Dade County allows civil citations in lieu of arrest for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Data shows racial disparities exist in who gets a citation versus who gets arrested.
  • The fatal shooting of Stephon Clark raised many questions, including whether legislatures should raise the standard for when an officer can use deadly force. Since 2014, at least 16 states have enacted legislation addressing this issue.
  • Last year, Vera Institute recommended, with urgency, that Tulsa County, Okla., “chart a new course for its pretrial justice system.” One year later, Tulsa County’s average daily jail population is down 18 percent.
  • Earlier this year, Illinois passed comprehensive, five-pathway deflection legislation. Deflection keeps individuals with behavioral health or substance abuse needs out of the criminal justice and, instead, connects them to treatment. Learn more about the path to enacting deflection legislation in this webinar.
  • A “first-of-its-kind” transitional housing program for adult women in the criminal justice system will open in Multnomah County, Ore., this fall. The Diane Wade House aims to reduce unnecessary incarceration, as well as reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
  • The Square One Project—supported by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Laura & John Arnold Foundation and Columbia University Justice Lab—seeks to rethink traditional criminal justice policies by starting over from square one.

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Links to external websites and reports are for information purposes only and do not indicate NCSL’s endorsement of the content.

This newsletter was created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.