Communications

  • 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…)


10/31/2018

Who’s Afraid of Pretrial Reform?

With Messaging Month on the University of Pretrial nearly over, we decided to take the occasion of Halloween to discuss some of the scary language that […]
10/17/2018

Are You Ready to Talk?

The playwright Arthur Miller once said, “A good newspaper…is a nation talking to itself.” Right now, the nation is talking about bail. From national news outlets […]
10/03/2018

What is YOUR Pretrial Message?

October is messaging month on the University of Pretrial, which means we will be holding special events throughout the month aimed at helping people communicate effectively […]
03/20/2017

Facing Addiction: Pretrial Justice is Important to Addressing the Substance Use Crisis

Guest blog by Michael King, Director of Outreach & Engagement, Facing Addiction The so-called War on Drugs, now in its fourth decade, has cost over $1 trillion […]