When it comes to pretrial reform, every jurisdiction in every state is facing different challenges, but one truth is universal: Success takes cooperation.
The courts may be at the center of the pretrial reform debate, but jails are at the center of the ongoing repercussions of those decisions.
Much of the pretrial reform debate centers on one key question: Should this individual be released or detained?
Making the right choices during pretrial is critical for community safety and depends entirely on what we know about the justice-involved individual.
For those of us who work in the justice system every day, it’s a good idea to step back and ground ourselves in the basics of pretrial so we can help our stakeholders navigate these changing times.
In the last few years, pretrial reform has accelerated to an almost breakneck speed. The traditional practice of setting monetary bail based strictly on a person’s current criminal charges and their criminal history is shifting to practices that look for alternative ways to handle pretrial decisions based on a person’s risk level. Those who work in corrections are wondering how to navigate a system that will no longer rely on money bail.
With so much conversation around pretrial practices and so much legislative change happening now and on the horizon, it can be difficult to fully understand their impact on our processes. Staying ahead of the reform conversation is no easy feat – especially when you’re focused on ensuring compliance and keeping your community safe.
San Diego County Pretrial Services has seen it all. From its original multi-agency oversight to present-day operation under our County Sheriff, we’ve overcome significant hurdles; including a time in recent years when lack of funding eliminated pretrial services altogether – compromising community safety and individual wellbeing across the county.