U.S. Department of Justice

Pretrial Release Services

Resources for pretrial professionals are available through our online library. You can view recent items that have been added to the library and browse related library topics.

The Featured Resources on this page are items from the library that we have identified as important for pretrial professionals.

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Recommended Reading

Date Title Type
2011
Document 025172
Measuring What Matters: Outcome and Performance Measures for the Pretrial Services Field
National Institute of Corrections. Pretrial Executives Network (Washington, DC).
“This monograph presents recommended outcome and performance measures and mission-critical data … [that] will enable pretrial service agencies to gauge more accurately their programs’ effectiveness in meeting agency and justice system goals” (p. v). Sections of this publication include introduction, outcome measures, performance measures, mission-critical data, setting targets, and examples of pretrial release program measures.... Read More
PDF
24 pages
2013
Document 027567
Evidence-Based Pretrial Release: Final Paper
By Pepin, Arthur W.. Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) (Williamsburg, VA ).
Anyone looking to reduce the amount of beds they need for pretrial detention should read this publication. It explains why evidence-based assessment of offenders can help reduce the need for current levels of or increased need for pretrial detention capacity. “Evidence-based assessment of the risk a defendant will fail to appear or will endanger others if released can increase successful pretrial release without financial conditions that may defendants are unable to meet. Imposing conditions on ... Read More
PDF
16 pages
2011
Document 025069
Kiosk Supervision for the District of Columbia
By Jannetta, Jesse; Halberstadt, Robin. Urban Institute. Justice Policy Center (Washington, DC).
The use of kiosk supervision for low-risk offenders and pretrial defendants is explained. The use of a kiosk frees up an agency’s supervision time to be used for moderate- and high-risk parolees and probationers. Topics discussed in this publication include: how the kiosk system works; kiosk supervision within a risk-reduction framework; challenges to implementing kiosk supervision; research and analysis regarding kiosk supervision; key implementation lessons; and conclusion. Through the use of ... Read More
PDF
7 pages
2004
Document 020265
Standards on Pretrial Release
National Institute of Corrections. Community Corrections Division (Washington, DC). National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (Wauwatosa, WI).
Effective procedures governing the release or detention of arrested individuals are presented. Thirty-four standards and related commentary are organized into the following four parts: general principles governing the pretrial process; nature of first appearance and release/decision; purposes, roles, and functions of pretrial services agencies; and management and oversight of pretrial processes following initial decision concerning release or detention.... Read More
PDF
88 p.
2011
Document 024954
State of the Science of Pretrial Risk Assessment
By Mamalian, Cynthia A.. U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (Washington, DC). Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) (Washington, DC).
“This publication is designed for a wide-ranging audience of criminal justice stakeholders who have questions about pretrial risk assessment and its value to the pretrial justice process” (p.3). Sections of this report are: introduction; setting the stage; critical issues related to pretrial release, detention, and risk assessment; challenges to implementing evidence-based risk assessment and threats to reliable administration; methodological challenges associated with prediction of risk; where ... Read More
PDF
42 pages
2006
Document 022013
Pretrial Case Processing In Maine: A Study of System Efficiency & Effectiveness
By Van Nostrand, Marie; Keebler, Gena; Jablonski, Patrick; Kays, Brian. National Institute of Corrections. Division of Community Corrections and Prisons (Washington, DC). Luminosity, Inc. (St. Petersburg, FL); Maine. Corrections Alternative Advisory Committee (CAAC) Augusta, ME.
An assessment of Maine's pretrial case processing system is provided. This report contains the following sections: introduction; Maine's criminal justice system for pretrial case processing; key system participants (e.g., law enforcement, county jail(s), District and Superior Courts, District Attorney's Office, defense attorney, Grand Jury, pretrial services, and probation services) are described for each county in the state; and Maine pretrial case processing flow chart.... Read More
PDF
153 p.

Related Resources

Date Title Type
2014
Document 028317
Community Corrections Collaborative Network: Safe and Smart Ways to Solve America's Correctional Challenges
By Ziedenberg, Jason. National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Community Services Division (Washington, DC); NIC-TA#13C5022. National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Community Corrections Collaborative Network (CCCN) (Washington, DC).
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Community Corrections Collaborative Network (CCCN)—a network representing community corrections professionals—commissioned a position paper to explore the successes and challenges facing the community corrections field. The position paper, "Community Corrections Collaborative Network: Safe and Smart Ways To Solve America’s Correctional Challenges", finds that community corrections is a critical part of the public safety system that supervises individua... Read More
PDF
36 pages
2014
Document 028429
A Brief Overview of Pretrial Release Laws
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (Denver, CO).
"State legislatures consider and enact laws that address all aspects of pretrial policy, including release eligibility, conditions of release, bail, commercial bail bonding and pretrial diversion. These legislative policies have an important role in providing fair, efficient and safe pretrial practices carried out by law enforcement and the courts" (p. 1). Brief descriptions are provided for the following legislative: citation in lieu of arrest; pretrial release eligibility; guidance for setting... Read More

2 pages
2014
Document 028362
Pretrial Justice: The Colorado Story
Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) (Washington, DC).
"Over the last few years, Colorado has been working on statewide pretrial justice reform and seen incredible advancements in legislation, policy, and practice. This video chronicles their journey so far in working to establish safe, fair, and effective pretrial justice in the state."... Read More

21 minutes
2014
Document 028258
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Pretrial System: A "Front Door" to Health and Safety
Public Welfare Foundation (Washington, DC). National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) (Washington, DC).
"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides an historic opportunity for millions of low-income individuals to obtain insurance coverage for their physical and behavioral health care needs. For the last several years, diverse behavioral health advocates, health care providers and community-based prevention organizations, have worked to understand the implications of the ACA on the justice-involved population. Much of the conversation has been centered on the disproportionately ... Read More
PDF
15 pages
2014
Document 028316
Pretrial Justice Institute
U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC); Public Welfare Foundation (Washington, DC); Annie E. Casey Foundation (Baltimore, MD). Pretrial Justice Institue (PJI) (Washington, DC).
'"The Pretrial Justice Institute’s core purpose is to advance safe, fair, and effective juvenile and adult pretrial justice practices and policies … [JPI] created this practice-based, informational resource for practitioners, policymakers, advocates and others interested in improving pretrial justice … [Materials are featured] that have been generated from jurisdictions across the country in the course of their bail reform endeavors to reduce inappropriate detention, optimize diversion from pros... Read More
WEB
2013
Document 028480
Assessing Pretrial Risk without a Defendant Interview
By VanNostrand, Marie; Lowenkamp, Christopher T.. Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) (Houston, TX).
"Although the use of pretrial risk assessments has increased in recent years, the proportion of jurisdictions employing these instruments remains low, and is estimated to be no more than 10%. This low adoption rate is due in large part to the fact that existing risk assessments require that information be collected through interviews with defendants. Conducting these interviews and verifying the information is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process that many jurisdictions cannot afford"... Read More

21 pages
2013
Document 028426
Best Practices in Bond Setting: Colorado’s New Pretrial Bail Law
By Schnacke, Timothy R.. Center for Legal and Evidence-Based Practices (CLEBP) (Golden, CO).
Colorado's new pretrial bail law, H.B. 13-1236, "represents an important step forward in Colorado pretrial justice as well as significant movement toward creating a model bail statute; the process used to create it, and even the compromises contained therein, may also serve as a template for other states struggling to address global issues in bail reform. This article summarizes the new law, factors and events leading to its creation, and the research behind the CCJJ’s recommendations underlying... Read More

63 pages
2013
Document 027581
Ohio Risk Assessment System: ORAS News and Updates
Ohio Ex-Offender Reentry Coalition (Columbus, Ohio).
Access is provided to resources about the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS). Materials available include: training updates; ORAS Newsletters; and ORAS tools—Community Supervision Tool, ORAS Full Binder (all the tools in one pdf), Pretrial Tool, Prison Tool, Reentry Tool, Research data, and Veterans Questionnaire.... Read More
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2013
Document 027893
Unsecured Bonds: The Most Effective and Efficient Pretrial Release Option
By Jones, Michael R.. U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC). Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) (Washington, DC).
If your pretrial agency is looking for solid empirical evidence about the effectiveness of unsecure bonds compared to secure bonds in safeguarding public safety, you need to read this report. “Findings support judicial officers changing their practices to use more unsecured releases, to include unsecured bonds if currently permitted by law, to achieve the same public safety and court appear¬ance rates while using far fewer jail beds. These un¬secured bonds could be used in conjunction with an in... Read More
PDF
26 pages
2013
Document 027567
Evidence-Based Pretrial Release: Final Paper
By Pepin, Arthur W.. Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) (Williamsburg, VA ).
Anyone looking to reduce the amount of beds they need for pretrial detention should read this publication. It explains why evidence-based assessment of offenders can help reduce the need for current levels of or increased need for pretrial detention capacity. “Evidence-based assessment of the risk a defendant will fail to appear or will endanger others if released can increase successful pretrial release without financial conditions that may defendants are unable to meet. Imposing conditions on ... Read More
PDF
16 pages
2013
Document 027173
Guidance for Setting Release Conditions
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (Denver, CO).
The chart available at this website provides “information on statutory guidance for setting pretrial release conditions” by state. Data presented includes the state, regulating statute, presumption of personal recognizance or unsecured appearance bond, least restrictive conditions required, and whether a risk assessment is required.... Read More
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2 pages
2013
Document 027173
Guidance for Setting Release Conditions
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (Denver, CO).
The chart available at this website provides “information on statutory guidance for setting pretrial release conditions” by state. Data presented includes the state, regulating statute, presumption of personal recognizance or unsecured appearance bond, least restrictive conditions required, and whether a risk assessment is required.... Read More
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2 pages

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