NCSL Pretrial Quarterly Newsletter


From the states

  • Recent reforms in pretrial policy have focused on risk-based decision-making to enhance public safety. In cases involving domestic violence and other violent acts, state legislation has included policies designed to enhance protections for potentially vulnerable victims during the pretrial stage of a criminal case. Watch NCSL’s new video to learn more.
  • Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales issued an executive order creating the Task Force on Fair Justice For All, a body tasked with recommending best practices for making release decisions that protect the public, but do not keep people in jail solely for the inability to pay bail. Click here for meeting dates and resources.
  • Texas lawmakers participated in a roundtable as part of a symposium examining pretrial policies titled “Police, Jails, and Vulnerable People: New Strategies for Confronting Today’s Challenges.” Read the resulting report here, or watch the full symposium here.

the cache

in the news

  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge has announced nearly $25 million in support of efforts in 20 jurisdictions to create fairer and more effective local justice systems.
  • Five Questions You Should be Asking About Your Jail Population, a blog from the Safety and Justice Challenge.
  • Nine counties in Indiana are preparing for the launch of a pretrial release pilot project that will test the Indiana Risk Assessment System, Pretrial Assessment Tool (IRAS-PAT).
  • San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi has assembled a “Bail Unit” that works to get defendants released prior to trial, taking on disparities in the local bail system.
  • St. Louis County awarded a $2.25 million dollar grant to reduce the local jail population by 15 to 19 percent. Funds will be used in part for pretrial release programs.
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law just announced that they will be the host of the new Deason Family Criminal Justice Reform Center. The center, recently funded by the Deason Family and the Charles Koch Foundation, will conduct statistical and analytical studies of pretrial procedures and diversion programs.

This newsletter is prepared under a partnership project of NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program and the Public Welfare Foundation. Links to external websites and reports are for information purposes only and do not indicate NCSL’s endorsement of the content.