Blog Archives

For Immediate Release: February 23, 2017
Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126; NAPSA, Jim Sawyer, Executive Director, (202) 957-4250

Largest National Association of County Governments (NACo) Unites in Call for Use of Pretrial Risk Assessment & Elimination of Commercial Bail Bonding Industry

Washington DC – At their February 27th annual Legislative Conference, the National Association of Counties (NACo) adopted a policy resolution supporting further improvements to county and state level pretrial justice systems to ensure no one is incarcerated solely because they cannot afford to buy their freedom. Citing the demands of due process and equal protection, NACo called on the U.S. Department of Justice to advise counties and states to make seven concrete improvements, including the adopting pretrial risk assessment and the elimination commercially secured bonds.  (more…)

For Immediate Release: February 23, 2017
Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126; Chris Collibee (Office of Governor Dannel Malloy), chris.collibee@ct.gov, (860) 205-7457

3DaysCount Campaign Offers Path to Fairer Outcomes, Greater Public Safety, and Better Use of Public Resources

Connecticut — Governor Dannel Malloy and Cherise Fanno Burdeen, chief executive officer of the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI), today announced that Connecticut is joining 3DaysCount, a national campaign led by the Pretrial Justice Institute to make pretrial justice in America safer, fairer, and more effective. Connecticut joins Guam and Illinois as the third jurisdiction to join the 3DaysCount campaign, which is focused on implementing proven, evidence-based improvements in pretrial justice—the portion of the criminal justice system that extends from first contact with law enforcement to resolution of any resulting charges. (more…)

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2017

Contacts: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com | 646.755.6126

Court of Appeals Approves Bail Rule Change

Today, Maryland’s Court of Appeals approved a change to the court rules that govern the state’s money bail system. This reform seeks both to reduce the number of low-risk people who are unfairly and expensively jailed before their trial only because they cannot afford bail and to make it easier for the courts to detain defendants who pose an unmanageable risk to the community. (more…)

For Immediate Release: January 23, 2017

Contacts: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com | 646.755.6126

Two New Reports from the Pretrial Justice Institute Analyze Costs of Unnecessary Pretrial Detention

Washington, DC – Two new publications from the Pretrial Justice Institute shed fresh light on the ineffectiveness, public costs, and collateral impact of using money bail in America’s pretrial justice systems.

Pretrial Justice: How Much Does It Cost? is a comprehensive examination of the most recent research on the financial cost of the money bail system. Most people in U.S.  jails—more than 3 in 5—have not yet been to trial. The vast majority of these legally innocent men and women are locked up solely because they cannot afford money bail, not because evidence suggests they pose a risk to the community while they await their trial. This report summarizes the full range of costs that result from current ineffective pretrial justice policies—from the cost of jailing people before trial to the costs poor people incur from the for-profit bail bond industry and the opportunity costs of not adopting research-backed alternatives to money bail.  Highlights include:  (more…)

For Immediate Release: January 9, 2017

Contacts: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com | 646.755.6126

Governor Cuomo Advocates for Pretrial Reforms in His Proposed Justice Overhaul

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a package of criminal justice reforms, including improvements to the state money bail system. These proposals aim to overhaul practices that unfairly punish the poor, like the state’s current practice of basing pretrial release decisions on an individual’s ability to pay bail rather than the risk he or she poses to public safety. The legislation Governor Cuomo proposes would allow judges to consider the danger an individual may pose to the community rather than simply flight risk and mandate the use of risk assessment tools in pretrial release decisions that data shows to be unbiased and effective for New York. These reforms—which are evidence-based and reflect national best practices—will help to better ensure higher risk individuals remain behind bars before their trial while lower risk New Yorkers can be released before their trial. (more…)

For Immediate Release: October 26, 2016

Contacts:
Christopher Bonjean, Director of Communications Illinois Supreme Court cbonjean@illinoiscourts.gov |  312.793.2323
Michelle Jett, Chief of Staff State Representative Carol Ammons, 103rd District michelle@staterepcarolammons.com | 217.531.1660
Fiona Druge, Pretrial Justice Institute Press Contact fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com | 646.755.6126

3DaysCount™ Campaign Offers Path to Smaller Jail Populations and Greater Public Safety

LOMBARD, Ill. — Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman, State Representative Carol Ammons, Administrative Office of Illinois Courts Director Mike Tardy and Cherise Fanno Burdeen, CEO of the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI), today announced that Illinois is joining 3DaysCount™, a national campaign to make pretrial justice safer, fairer and more effective. The campaign will focus on examining pretrial justice laws and court rules—the crucial structures that support good criminal justice policies from the point of arrest to when cases are resolved. Illinois is the second jurisdiction to announce its participation in 3DaysCount, which will support state-level partnerships aimed at improved public safety and better outcomes. (more…)

For Immediate Release: August 16, 2016

Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126

Arizona Task Force Encourages More Jurisdictions to Utilize Evidence-Based Risk Assessments

Today, in a report commissioned by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Scott Bales, the state Task Force on Fair Justice for All made a series of sweeping recommendations to the Arizona Judicial Council including reforms to make the state’s pretrial justice system more fair and effective. Among other reforms, the report calls for eliminating the use of cash bond as a means to secure a defendant’s appearance for a future court date, and recommends the expanded use of the Arnold Foundation’s risk assessment tool to determine pretrial release decisions.

Cherise Fanno Burdeen, chief executive officer of the Pretrial Justice Institute, issued the following statement about the announcement: (more…)

For Immediate Release: July 11, 2016

Contact: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126

 

Governor Signs Justice Reinvestment Law with Sweeping Changes to Pretrial Policy

JUNEAU – Today Alaska Governor Bill Walker will sign into law a sweeping criminal justice reform package  that includes key measures to help the state’s pretrial system better serve the people of Alaska. In advancing pretrial reform, Alaska sets an example for other states.  Over 60 percent of people locked up in our nation’s jails have not yet been to trial. As many as nine in ten of these people are stuck behind bars because they are too poor to afford bail for mostly low-level, non-violent charges. Unnecessary pretrial detention is unfair, wastes scarce public resources, makes communities less safe, and is hidden driver of America’s crisis of mass incarceration (research from the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Charitable Trust, which supported the Alaska reform, shows Alaska’s pretrial population rose by over 80% in just the past decade). This new law ensures more taxpayer resources are funneled toward addressing violent crime rather than detaining people who do not pose a threat to public safety.

Pretrial reforms in the law include: (more…)

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2016

Contacts: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126

 

Maryland Provides Blueprint for Other States

A Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) report released today by the Abell Foundation documents recent, yet incomplete, efforts to reform pretrial criminal justice practice in Maryland and offers a practical path to achieve, once and for all, a safer, fairer, and more effective response to people accused of crime. Finishing the Job: Modernizing Maryland’s Bail System brings together recommendations from two state-level initiatives that focused on bail reform and presents a clear sequence of steps for implementing their recommendations.

Lawmakers in Maryland—like those in many states—have struggled to agree on what do about jails filled with people awaiting trial and ballooning budgets associated with unnecessary pretrial detention. Since 2013, when a state court ruled in Richmond v. DeWolfe that all criminal defendants must have legal representation at their first court appearance—where bail is set and liberty is at jeopardy—leaders have looked for ways to meet their constitutional obligation while also operating systems that are both safe and efficient. As part of that effort, two separate state-level bodies have studied the disparities and dangers of current money bail practices and recommended solutions. Despite significant commitment and agreement about what needs to be done, those solutions, which are in line with reforms recently realized or being considered in other states, have not yet been implemented. (more…)

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2016
Contacts: Fiona Druge, fiona.druge@berlinrosen.com, (646) 755-6126 – Pretrial Justice Institute Dana Gutierrez, dgutierrez@guamcourts.org, (671) 300-9282 – Judiciary of Guam

Pretrial Justice Institute’s 3DaysCountTM Campaign Offers Path to Smaller Jail Populations and Greater Public Safety

 

Hagatna, Guam — Chief Justice Robert J. Torres of the Judiciary of Guam and Cherise Fanno Burdeen, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI), today announced that Guam is joining 3DaysCountTM, a national campaign to make pretrial justice safer, fairer, and more effective. The campaign will focus on improving pretrial justice laws and court rules—the crucial structures that support good criminal justice policies from the point of arrest to when cases are resolved. Guam is the first jurisdiction to announce its participation in 3DaysCount, which will support commonsense state- and territory-level reform aimed at improved public safety and better outcomes for systems and people.

“Acceptance as the inaugural member into 3DaysCount means we will receive support to promote commonsense solutions to longstanding pretrial justice system challenges that discriminate against the poor, fail to protect individual and community safety and squander public resources,” said Justice Torres. (more…)