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Front-end Justice Reform


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  • 1. Front-end Justice ReformCheaper, Safer, FairerMay 2013
  • 2. County Jails: The Numbers• 2,914 counties either own and operatea jail or participate in a regionalcorrections authority.– NACo County Intelligence Connection Database, 2012.NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
  • 3. County Jails: The NumbersNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIESBetween June 2010 andJune 2011, local jailsadmitted nearly 11.8million individuals orover 226,000 individualsper week.In 2011, the weeklyturnover rate for inmatesat local jails was 62.2percent.At midyear 2011, 60.6percent of jail inmatesbeing held nationwidewere held in anunconvicted, pretrialstatus.In 2010-2011, 95percent of those bookedinto local jails were notsubsequently sent toprison.Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ JailInmates at Midyear series, 1996-2011.
  • 4. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIESThe United States and thePhilippines are the onlycountries in the world thatmaintain a for-profit bailindustry.The United States also hasthe world’s largest rate ofincarceration.Graph Source: Rampell, C. (2010, Sept. 29). Jailand Jobs. New York Times (New York, NY).
  • 5. Chart: Violent and PropertyCrime Rates in the United States,1996-2011NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES0100200300400500600700199619992002200520082011Violent Crime Rate (per100,000 inhabitants)ViolentCrime Rate(per100,000inhabitants)0500100015002000250030003500400045005000199619992002200520082011Property Crime Rate(per 100,000 persons)PropertyCrimeRate (per100,000persons)Data for both charts from the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation’s Uniform Crime Reports series, 1996-2011.
  • 6. Chart: Pretrial vs. Sentenced JailPopulations, 1996-2011NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIESData from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ JailInmates at Midyear series, 1996-2011.0100000200000300000400000500000600000Pretrial DetaineePopulationConvicted InmatePopulation
  • 7. • “The overwhelming majority of peoplein our nation’s jails are not a threat tosociety. Most are detained for minoroffenses and simply did not have themoney to get out of jail.”– Shima Baradaran, Associate Professor, BrighamYoung University Law SchoolNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
  • 8. What does this mean forcounties?• While incarcerated, pretrial inmates face:– A higher risk of becoming unemployed;– Increased odds of becoming delinquent on childsupport and other recurring payments; and– A greater likelihood of recidivating uponeventual release.• Instead of adding to a county’s tax base, thepretrial detention of defendants in county jailscosts taxpayers a total of $9 billion annually.– American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section. Frequently AskedQuestions about Pretrial Release Decision Making. Retrieved March11, 2013, ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
  • 9. What is a Pretrial Program?NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• Comprehensive pretrial services programsrely upon a validated, evidence-basedscreening tool to evaluate and assessindividuals’ risk factors upon arrest and/orbooking in an effort to objectively andimpartially guide appropriate releasedecisions and supervision conditions toassure a defendant’s return to court andensure public safety.
  • 10. Call for Pretrial ReformSince 2010NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
  • 11. NACo’s American CountyPlatform, 2011-2012NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIESPretrial Release –Counties should establish written policies that ensure:– The interview and assessment of all arrestees booked into countyjails;– The investigation of information provided in order to provide areport to the judiciary for use during the pretrial release ordetention decision; and– The use of release methods that are in compliance with state bailstatutes which call for the least restrictive conditions during thepretrial stage that can protect the community and assure theappearance of the arrestee at all court events. These includerelease on recognizance, non-financial supervised release, andpreventive detention.
  • 12. Why does it matter?NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• Cheaper• Safer• Fairer
  • 13. CheaperNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• In 2009, local governments spent over $130 billion indirect expenditures on their justice systems, over$27.5 billion of which was a direct expenditure oncorrections system.– Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts, 2009 – Preliminary.– This represents 50.5% of the total direct expenditures bylocal, state, and federal governments on the justicesystem and 33.3% of the total direct expenditures oncorrections.– Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Justice Expenditure and Employment Extracts, 2009 – Preliminary.• Of 161 pretrial programs that responded to a 2009Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) Survey, half reportedoperating with a budget of $500,000 or less.– 2009 Survey of Pretrial Services Programs (Washington, D .C .: Pretrial Justice Institute), 2010.
  • 14. CheaperNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• Camden County, N.J.– With an average daily population of 1,807, by June2009 when the county began its jail crowdingreduction initiative, the Camden CountyCorrectional Facility (CCCF) was operating at 142%capacity.– A Jail Population Reduction (JPR) Committee wasformed to identify and implement strategies toreduce jail crowding while maintaining public safety.• The JPR Committee developed a Jail Population AnalysisWizard, engaged a Jail Population Manager to analyzedata trends, and implemented a Pretrial Services Program.Responsible Jail Population Reduction: Camden County, New Jersey (Luminosity Solutions, 2011).
  • 15. CheaperNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• Camden County, N.J.– In its first year, this responsibly reduced theaverage daily population at CCCF by 21%, resultingin cost avoidance of over $9 million annually byeliminating the needs to house inmates at otherfacilities and a cost savings of over $600,000annually by reducing contracted expenditures onfood and healthcare. It also reduced the averagelength of stay by 7 days (38.4 days to 31.4 days).Responsible Jail Population Reduction: Camden County, New Jersey (Luminosity Solutions, 2011).
  • 16. CheaperNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• By the end of 2013, Milwaukee County, Wis.,expects to safely release and/or supervise 15%more pretrial detainees in the community ratherthan in jail – a move which is expected togenerate over $1,000,000 in savings.– Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative System Scorecard: Four Commitments We Make to CriminalJustice in Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee County Community Justice Council).• From FY08 to FY11, the Pretrial ReleaseProgram in Okaloosa County, Fla., savedtaxpayers over $27 million in cost avoidance dueto no new jail building or additional staff as aresult of a decreased jail population.– Pretrial Release: A Tremendous Success in Okaloosa County, Florida: Fact Sheet (March 2011).
  • 17. SaferNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• Currently, the majority of bail decisionsrely upon little information aside fromcurrent charges and previous criminalhistory.• By incorporating evidence-based,validated risk factors into the decision-making process, judges can benefit froman objective, research-based analysis ofa defendant’s potential flight risk anddanger to the community.
  • 18. SaferNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• Of the 80% of defendants in Washington, D.C. releasedon a non-financial bond, 97% go through the pretrialperiod without any new arrests on a felony charge, 91%without arrest on a new misdemeanor charge, and 88% ofdefendants make all court appearances.– The D.C. Pretrial Services Agency: Lessons Learned From Five Decades ofInnovation and Growth (Washington, DC: Pretrial Justice Institute, 2010).• Of defendants under pretrial supervision in Santa CruzCounty, Calif., 92% were not re-arrested for new offensesduring the pretrial period.– Bail Fail: Why the U.S. Should End the Practice of Using Monday for Bail(Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute, 2012).• Kentucky Pretrial Services supervises 74% of alldefendants. Of this population, 93% go through thepretrial period without a new arrest, and 92% made alltheir court appearances.– James Austin, Roger Ocker, and Avi Bhati, Kentucky Pretrial RiskAssessment Validation (Washington, D.C.: The JFA Institute and the PretrialJustice Institute, 2010).
  • 19. FairerNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• Defendants who are detained in jail whileawaiting trial are more likely to:– Plead guilty to the charges brought against them– Be convicted on one or more charges– Be sentenced to prison– Receive longer prison sentences than defendantswho are released during the pretrial period• Even when controlling for factors includingcurrent charge, prior criminal history, and ties tothe community, these findings hold true.John S. Goldkamp. Two Classes of the Accused: AStudy of Bail and Detention in American Justice(Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1979).
  • 20. FairerNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• “If they have you in jail, the power hasshifted to the prosecutorial arm of thesystem, and they can force you to make aplea. If you are out of jail, the powerdynamic is completely different. Ourresearch shows that when bail is posted, atleast half the cases are going to bedismissed outright and most will result in nojail time at all. This is why prosecutors fightso desperately for bail.”– Robin Steinberg, Bronx Defenders
  • 21. FairerNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• “What has been demonstrated here is that usuallyonly one factor determines whether a defendantstays out of jail before he comes to trail. That factoris not guilt or innocence. It is not the nature of thecrime. It is not the character of the defendant. Thatfactor is, simply, money.”– Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Symposium on PretrialReform, 1964• “Today – after decades of study, analysis, andcooperation – there is no doubt that…current pretrialrelease and diversion programs are not only moreeffective, but more just.”– Attorney General Eric Holder, National Symposium on PretrialJustice, 2011
  • 22. What do people think?NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
  • 23. Support for ReformNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES779 14535Support Oppose Undecided/Dont KnowSome have proposed using risk-based screening tools instead of cash bail bonds to determinewhether defendants should be released from jail before trial. This risk assessment would take intoaccount such factors as the nature of the offense in question, the suspects criminal history, as wellas their employment, residency, drug use history and mental health. Under this system, high-riskdefendants would be held in jail until trial, and low-risk defendants would be released withconditions and be monitored and supervised. Would you support or oppose this proposal, or areyou undecided?Results, polling questions, and findings all from Lake Research Partners. Analysis ofFindings from Focus Group Research and a Survey of 815 Likely 2012 General ElectionVoters Nationwide, October 4, 2012.
  • 24. Risk Assessment EffectivenessOver 75% of polled likely voters, spread across various demographics,believe that risk assessment would protect community safety effectively.Nearly as many also say they believe it would be effective at preventing flight.NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES7617773207265234Very/SomewhatEffectiveA little/NotEffective At AllDont Know Very/SomewhatEffectiveA little/NotEffective At AllDont KnowAnd how effective do you think riskassessment would be when it comes toprotecting community safety? Do you think itwould be very effective, somewhat effective, alittle effective, or not effective at all?And how effective do you think riskassessment would be when it comes topreventing flight and ensuring appearanceat trial? Do you think it would be veryeffective, somewhat effective, a littleeffective, or not effective at all?Results, polling questions, and findings all from Lake Research Partners. Analysis ofFindings from Focus Group Research and a Survey of 815 Likely 2012 General ElectionVoters Nationwide, October 4, 2012.
  • 25. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• “At the outset, more than three-quarters of voterssupport using risk-based screening tools instead ofcash bail bonds to determine whether defendantsshould be released from jail before trial, with high-risk defendants held in jail until trial and low-riskdefendants released under monitoring andsupervision. Majorities support this reform strongly.Moreover, support barely budges when we simulatean engaged debate over this issue, even allowingthe opposition the standard histrionics andfalsehoods that typically animate their arguments.”– Results from Lake Research Partners. Analysis of Findings from Focus Group Research and aSurvey of 815 Likely 2012 General Election Voters Nationwide, October 4, 2012.There is overwhelming public supportfor risk assessment — even in theface of withering criticism.
  • 26. To Learn More…NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES• NACo’s Criminal Justice Webpage:–• Pretrial Justice Institute:–• The Attorney General’s Pretrial JusticeWorking Group:–