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  • What the New Jersey Report Shows Us (4/18/2019)

    Six years ago, a major catalyst for pretrial reform in New Jersey came in the form of a report showing that nearly 40 percent of people in jail in New Jersey were there because they could not afford bail. Several years – and a long road – later, New Jersey passed laws to provide sweeping changes to their pretrial justice policies and practices. Since January 1, 2017, when new laws went into effect, we have been watching for the outcomes of these changes, not just in terms of reducing arrests (bookings) and replacing cash bail, but in restricting detention and raising equity. We also needed to see rates of court appearance and public safety – the two purposes of the bail decision. We wanted data from the courts. And now, we have it.

    As a result of expanded use of citations-summons, the jail population has declined significantly. Since 2015, when preparation for pretrial reforms began, the pretrial jail population has fallen by nearly 44 percent. Money bonds have been functionally eliminated and de-facto detention to due an inability to pay has nearly disappeared. The few held for detention hearings are afforded full due process and then some are released with conditions of supervision. In 2018, the rate of pretrial detention was roughly 6 percent, meaning 94 percent of people were able to participate in their defense from home, with family, at their jobs, or in school, where they were best equipped to do so. The appearance rate in 2017, the most recent year cited in the report, was nearly 90 percent, only a slight decrease from before the reform. (more…)


04/18/2019

What the New Jersey Report Shows Us

Six years ago, a major catalyst for pretrial reform in New Jersey came in the form of a report showing that nearly 40 percent of people […]
03/20/2019

How Reform Gets Done and Stays Done

We love March at PJI. This month marks the 42nd anniversary of our founding as the Pretrial Services Resource Center, and the 12th anniversary of our […]
03/06/2019

A Hero Passes But His Vision Remains

Jeff Adachi, the public defender of San Francisco, died suddenly at the age of 59 on February 22. His death sent shock waves through the many […]
02/20/2019

FOMO at PI-Con? You bet!

The Pretrial Innovators Convention, also known as PI-Con, is less than a month away, on March 14-15 in Denver. If you haven’t registered yet, you have […]
02/06/2019

Respect and Dignity: A Critical Component of Pretrial Justice

The concept of procedural justice invokes the idea that treating people in a humanizing and respectful manner is not only the right thing to do, but […]
01/23/2019

Looking Back and Thinking Ahead on Pretrial Justice with Jeremy Travis

Guest blog by Jeremy Travis. Jeremy Travis is executive vice president of criminal justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and President Emeritus of the […]
12/12/2018

Guest Blog: The Myth of the Electronic Monitor

By James Kilgore, co-director of FirstFollowers Reentry Program The first time I saw an electronic ankle monitor was 2009. Unfortunately, it was on my own leg. After […]
11/28/2018

PI-Con 2019 Preview

2019 is not an Olympic year or a major election year, but here at PJI, it’s our year with a major event! 2019 is the year […]
11/14/2018

Veterans Courts and the Heroic Imagination

In the summer of 1940, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat based in Lithuania, made a critical decision. Jewish refugees and other Polish citizens had come to […]