Last week, dozens of supporters attended the launch event for PJI’s 3DaysCountTM campaign in Washington, DC. Speakers at the event included US Representative Donald Norcross of New Jersey, who shepherded that state’s sweeping pretrial reform last year when he was a state senator; former Greenville (NC) Police Chief Hassan Aden, now Director of Research & Programs at the International Association of Chiefs of Police; Mr. Eugene Isaac, a man who benefitted from pretrial release after arrest; and PJI’s Executive Director, Cherise Fanno Burdeen.
Attendees mingled, learned more about the campaign, and had their pictures taken with messages like “ability to pay bond does NOT equate to safer communities,” which were tweeted on #3DaysCount.
3DaysCountTM seeks to set a new national standard of pretrial justice by achieving state-level reform in 20 states by 2020.
States participating in 3DaysCountTM will benefit from a public education campaign to raise awareness about the need and value of pretrial reform, and receive support aimed at
3DaysCountTM focuses on state-level change and builds upon PJI’s work over the last four years, funded by forward-thinking organizations such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Public Welfare Foundation. The campaign is unique because it is grounded in the idea that any champion from a branch of state government or statewide stakeholder group can throw their hat over the wall and commit their state to realizing a new pretrial justice future. It’s also unique because it will create a space of community and fun for people working to reform the system. None of us ever wanted to make things worse—and now that we know better, we will do better, and we will support each other in that effort.
All across America, police, judges, prosecutors, defenders, correctional administrators, county commissioners, and legislators recognize a desperate need for pretrial reform. These are people who see firsthand how current pretrial operations can be harmful to arrested people and their families and communities. They also know how the current system wastes scarce resources that could be better spent elsewhere.
This campaign combines their voices, and their local efforts, to amplify the work—like so many waves joining together to form a tsunami of pretrial reform. That is3DaysCountTM.
As states join 3DaysCountTM and begin to realize its goals, arrested people in their jurisdictions will be detained only if they pose a true risk of flight or to individual or community safety—not, for example, because they are unable to pay cash bail.
And those states will be confident that they are managing arrested people effectively because they are using scientific measures of risk to inform pretrial decision-making.
In that achievable future, we will no longer be talking about a handful states and locales that have taken bold steps to improve pretrial justice. We will be talking about the few who have yet to do so.
All this will be possible because we rallied together and focused the calls for change that already exist. It will happen because 3DaysCountTM did things differently.
For more information, visit www.pretrial.org/3DaysCount.