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News items related to pretrial

Justice Policy Journal – Volume 10, Number 2 – Fall 2013

Articles on veterans, juvenile diversion program volunteers, court-ordered mentoring for adjudicated youth, pretrial publicity, and punishing racial and ethnic minority student athletes.

Little Hoover Commission recommends use of risk/needs assessment in jails

Realignment has elevated concern regarding the intersection of the bail industry and California’s un-sentenced jail population. Many advocates have expressed concern that a significant number of this un-sentenced population remains confined to local county jails solely due to their inability to meet the monetary obligations of their set bail.   The concerns of a diverse group of stakeholders lead the Little Hoover Commission to examine the issue in late 2012.

Commercial bail vs. Pretrial services

As you walk down Bryant Street in San Francisco, there are many neon-lit signs advertising for available bail services increasing as you move closer to the Hall of Justice.  San Francisco is the birthplace of the bail industry, but in recent years, the county has begun to explore pretrial services that are not driven by commercial enterprise.

Unnecessary incarceration: What are the consequences?
Have you ever been in a room of highly educated individuals discussing sentencing and bail reform in California?  I was just recently.  On Tuesday November 27, 2012 I attended the Little Hoover Commission hearing as an expert witness.  The conversation was extremely dynamic and thought provoking with significant dialogue on the fairness and constitutionality of the uniform bail industry in California.  Despite the varying intricacies discussed there was a glaring omission: the collateral…
Little Hoover Commission discusses need for sentencing reform
Today, the Little Hoover Commission (LHC) hosted a public hearing on bail and sentencing reform in the State Capitol.  LHC is an independent state oversight agency created in 1962 to investigate state government operations and promote efficiency, economy and improved service. As part of an ongoing assessment of public safety in California following AB 109 criminal justice realignment in October 2011, the LHC heard testimony regarding the monetary bail system, alternatives to bail, jail…
California's adult corrections realignment: Just a change of address?
Several weeks ago, I represented CJCJ at the Second Annual Conference on Public Safety Realignment .  The conference was sponsored by the Joint Training Partnership of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), California State Sheriffs' Association (CSSA) and Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC). Over 600 law enforcement stakeholders were in attendance, representing Community Corrections Partnerships from the majority of the counties across California.   Staff from the…
Local Reform in a Realigned Environment
Local Reform in a Realigned Environment
Counties using pretrial services to reduce jail overcrowding safely
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 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…
Overcrowded jails, the bail industry, and pretrial alternatives
This month is the Justice Policy Institute (JPI)'s Bail Reform Month . Their national public education campaign provides research showing that "money bail is a failed policy that does not protect public safety" and leads to unnecessary incarceration in local jails. If you have been following criminal justice realignment in California, this issue is of foremost importance. In California, approximately 71% of the jail population is unsentenced. Many of the detainees are in detention simply…
Legislation to provide more opportunities for unsentenced detainees
In California, local county jail bed space is not always for the guilty.  Approximately 50,000 un-sentenced individuals are confined to the state's county jails, awaiting their time before a judge.  A majority of these individuals are confined to local jails because they are not able to post bail .  This contributes to the 71% state average of un-sentenced individuals in county jails.  These individuals have not necessarily been deemed a flight-risk or a danger to society; they just lack the…
Systems Change In An Era Of Crime Decline
Systems Change In An Era Of Crime Decline California Progress Report, June 25, 2012
Deliberate strategies in Santa Cruz alleviate jail space
California has seen a dramatic increase in state and local incarceration rates since the 1970's.  The current crisis confronting state and county justice systems is the product of what is now recognized as poorly conceived correctional policy and decision making primarily at the state level.  The massive rate of incarceration was avoidable.  A CJCJ recent analysis , conducted with the support and collaboration of the Santa Cruz County Probation and Sheriff Departments and the County's Superior…
Monterey County judges raise bail rates, already among highest in state
Monterey County judges raise bail rates, already among highest in state Monterey Herald, June 16, 2012
Lessons Learned: The Santa Cruz County Story
Lessons Learned: The Santa Cruz County Story
Who's crowding California's jails
Who's crowding California's jails KPCC, May 15, 2012
Build bigger jails or invest in community-based alternatives?
In 2010, 71 percent of California's jail population were those offenders who were unsentenced and awaiting resolution of their cases.  This figure not only exceeds the pretrial detainee national average, but also represents a major shift away from the traditional use of jails where inmates are detained as a form of punishment.  However, many of these pretrial detainees are not being held because they have been determined to be a danger to society or represent a flight risk. Rather, they remain…
An analysis of San Mateo proposal for jail construction
A recent ACLU report found that that 24 of the 25 largest California counties plan on using realigned state funding to pay for dramatic expansions of jail beds.   CJCJ's Brian Heller de Leon reviewed the report in his blog, Adult realignment and the county jail building boom . The ACLU report notes, "Counties that have chosen a path of jail expansion - as many of the Big 25 county realignment plans indicate they have - are trying to solve the wrong problem.  They seek to absorb the realigned…
Could bail reform bail out California's overcrowded jails?
Could bail reform bail out California's overcrowded jails? KALW radio, April 30, 2012
CJCJ supports SB 1180: Pretrial release on own recognizance
Yesterday, the California Senate Public Safety Committee voted 5-2 to pass Senate Bill 1180 (Hancock) for a floor vote.  This bill is a significant piece of legislation that will have a significant impact on the high rates of un-sentenced individuals held in county jails.  If the bill continues to proceed in the legislative arc and is signed by the Governor, California counties would have enhanced incentives to utilize best practice risk-assessment tools for determining whether an accused…
Adult realignment provides counties with opportunities for innovation
Data from the Corrections Standards Authority shows that 71% of jail space in California counties is filled by individuals who are unsentenced.  For the simple reason of not being able to afford a bail amount that varies widely from county to county for the same sentence, these individuals are separated from their communities, families, receive no rehabilitative programming, taking up jail beds that should be used for offenders determined to be a risk to their community, all at the costs of…
Adult realignment and the county jail building boom
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union released an insightful, comprehensive report on county plans for a massive jail expansion using funding allocated through Assembly Bill 109 and Assembly Bill 900.   AB 109 is the adult realignment bill that shifted responsibility for supervising low-level offenders (non-non-non's) from the state to the county level along with $367 million for first-year implementation.  Adult realignment in California comes at time when public opinion is shifting…
CA Policy: The corporate interest
Kathy Lynch is the legislative advocate for two California bail agent associations: the California Bail Agents Association (CBAA ); and Golden State Bail Agents Association (GSBAA ).  She founded Lynch & Associates in 1985. These two groups explicitly lobby for increases in the fee detainees must pay for bail-posting services.  In California, the Department of Insurance regulates bail premiums (the amount of money paid to a bail bondsman for their services), which are set as a percentage…
The Homeless Pretrial Release Project: An Innovative Pretrial Release Option

San Francisco's model pretrial release and case management program for homeless misdemeanants. 

Half Truths: The Complicated Story of D.C.'s Halfway House "Escapees"
Half Truths: The Complicated Story of D.C.'s Halfway House "Escapees"

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California Sentencing
Institute (CASI)

Explore how California’s 58 counties send their residents to correctional institutions with interactive maps, charts, and downloadable data.

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