Being able to defend your pretrial practice is essential for everyone at your agency because if you’re not making strategic, goal-driven decisions, you risk having a “practice” that’s an aggregation of tools and processes and not a defensible strategy at all. Every tool, every process, and every decision related to pretrial must be data-driven and helping you reach your goals.
Amy Bach, founder of the non-profit Measures for Justice, lives by the motto: “You can’t change what you can’t see.” Illuminating the truth through data has been her life’s passion, and Amy works with agencies across the country to make meaningful change to promote justice. Hear stories about data research at MSJ, and get advice for how your agency can start moving toward greater transparency and positive change.
Problem-solving courts are designed to address the underlying cause of the crime (e.g., a substance abuse) rather than simply punish a person for the crime itself. They’re rehabilitative. They reduce recidivism. And when they’re operating effectively, they’re a coordinated effort involving the judge, district attorney, defense attorney, treatment provider, supervision professional, and often a program coordinator.
Risk level and supervision level don’t match up on a clean 1:1 basis, and it’s up to supervision professionals to understand the nuances of each to make appropriate supervision decisions. Risk and supervision levels are two distinct guidelines based on different inputs, and risk level should be used to inform supervision level, not replace it. Let’s take a closer look.
The line between health issues and legal issues is frequently blurred, particularly with mental illness and substance use disorders. How can we un-blur that line? How do we get people the help they need while maintaining public safety? Host Sue Humphreys talks with Ayesha Delany-Brumsey of the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and Stepping Up Initiative to examine health issues in the justice system and what’s making a difference.
You can’t do it alone. When it comes to pretrial reform, every jurisdiction in every state is facing different challenges, but one truth is universal: Success takes cooperation. When a formal or informal group such as a Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) convenes regularly, communities see crime decrease, pretrial jail stays shorten, and criminal justice costs decline. These groups are collaborative boards that help solve both specific problems and systemic issues. But, you don’t have to have a CJCC to start pulling together the right people and working toward change.
What if you could save 5 minutes per individual that your agency serves? 10 minutes? 15? Even a few minutes per person could make a substantial impact on your team’s ability to manage their time and their caseload. It’s time to re-think your assessment strategy. Even the most assessment-savvy agencies are losing precious minutes on non-essential assessment questions, and saving your team that extra five or more minutes is easier than you think.
There are two critical parts of this process, either of which can make or break the accuracy of your assessment results: the assessment itself, and the way your team uses it. To ensure the accuracy of the assessment, you need to conduct validation and outcomes studies. To ensure accuracy of the human elements of risk assessment, your agency needs to adopt a continuous cycle of quality assurance, or QA.
At equivant, a big part of our job is listening to our customers and understanding your pain points so we can put our decades of experience to work helping you overcome the challenges that come your way. We hear you.
As supervision professionals, we’re focused on the myriad things the individual needs to address to avoid recidivism, and the most immediate priority needs to be the moment of reentry. When their feet hit the pavement, then what? Do they have a place to live? Do they have something to eat? Do they have a valid ID Over the past three decades, we’ve seen hundreds of different takes on discharge/release/reentry planning, and we’ve learned that success really comes down to a few key factors.