The Pretrial Justice Institute’s core purpose is to advance safe, fair, and effective juvenile and adult pretrial justice practices and policies that honor and protect all people. We work to achieve our core purpose by moving policymakers and justice system stakeholder to adopt and implement practices and policies through:
- Educating key stakeholders
- Moving stakeholders to action
- Working in key states to advocate for change
- Developing messages, stories, and media coverage in support of change
- Connecting local jurisdictions to assistance
PJI is funded in part by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
- We support juvenile and adult pretrial detention only as the result of due process that determined no conditions would reasonably assure appearance and community safety.
- We support the use of data-driven, evidence-informed policies and practices across the juvenile and adult pretrial justice continuum in order to eliminate outcomes that are influenced by race, gender, social class or economic status.
- We maintain a learning work environment in which collaboration, personal development and professional integrity are paramount.
- We welcome partnership with individuals and groups who support our values.
The Pretrial Justice Institute History
In 1976, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Justice for the funding of an entity that could provide training and technical assistance to pretrial services programs and their staffs. The proposal was funded and the Pretrial Justice Institute, originally called the Pretrial Services Resource Center, opened its doors on March 1, 1977. As stated in the Articles of Incorporation, PJI was founded “…to promote research and development, exchange of ideas and issues, and professional competence in the field of pretrial services, to encourage the establishment of responsible agencies to provide such services, to provide technical assistance to those agencies providing such services, to provide a regular means of communication among such agencies and to develop and implement training materials and techniques for those engaged in delivering such services.” For three decades, PJI sought to fulfill this mission under the directorships of Madeleine Crohn (1977-1982), D. Alan Henry (1982-2006), Tim Murray (2006-2013), and Cherise Fanno Burdeen (2013-present).
The work of PJI has expanded beyond this basic mission at various points throughout its history to take a more system wide approach to pretrial justice. In 2007, the name of the organization was changed to the Pretrial Justice Institute to more accurately reflect a new focus on advocating nationwide for fair and effective pretrial justice practices.