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Counties using pretrial services to reduce jail overcrowding safely

September 25, 2012

San Francisco, CA: While 32 out of 58 counties in California are planning to add new jail beds to fulfill new AB 109 realignment responsibilities, a new report identifies counties that have developed cost-effective ways to alleviate and maximize on their existing jail space without compromising public safety. These models and practices could be modified and replicated in other jurisdictions that are currently struggling with overcrowded jails.

Best Practices and Resources for California Counties: Pretrial Detention and Community Supervision, published by California Forward (CA Fwd), reviews national evidence and highlights successful pretrial programs in Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and Yolo counties.  It is the second in a series aimed at providing counties with information to effectively implement AB 109 realignment.  Read the CA Fwd press release attached.

The report was co-authored by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ), ACLU of Northern California, Californians for Safety and Justice, Leaders in Community Alternatives, Crime and Justice Institute, and California Forward. 

Read the full publication at:

"The expertise and resources to implement successful pretrial models exists in California. What is lacking in some counties is the political will to enact new practices and procedures.  This report demonstrates that counties have a number of tools at their disposal to reduce their pretrial populations in a way that actually increases public safety, reduces costs to local taxpayers, and ensures due process rights for those arrestees who have yet to stand before a judge."

~ Brian Heller de Leon
CJCJ Policy and Government Outreach Coordinator

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with CJCJ co-author, Brian Heller de Leon, please contact Selena Teji at (415) 621-5661 x. 123 or by email at     

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Note: Next week CJCJ will be releasing the second part of an in-depth study of Santa Cruz County's criminal justice policies and practices, describing its investment in pretrial services, and providing a blueprint for replication in other jurisdictions.  Contact for more details.

Read the first installment Lessons Learned: the Santa Cruz County story or register for a webinar describing the results, presented by Chief Probation Officer Scott MacDonald and CJCJ's Kate McCracken on September 27, 2012:

Keywords: Brian Heller de Leon, Daniel Macallair, Kate McCracken, local policy, press release, pretrial

Posted in Model Local Practices

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