U.S. Department of Justice

Pretrial Release Services

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Topics In the Library

  • Pretrial Release
  • Pretrial Detention
  • Pretrial Diversion
  • Pretrial Services
  • Pretrial Diversion Programs
  • Pretrial Risk Assessment
  • Pretrial Research
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
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
24 pages
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
16 pages
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
7 pages
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
88 p.
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
42 pages
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
153 p.

Related Resources

Date Title Type
Document 029999
Pretrial Risk Assessment: Science Provides Guidance on Assessing Defendants
Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) (Washington, DC).
This issue brief covers: what an empirically-derived pretrial risk assessment tool is; why it is important to know a defendant's risk level; what these tools look like; how empirically-derived pretrial risk assessment tools are developed; what pretrial risk tools tell us about typical success rates by risk level; the number of places that use empirically-derived pretrial risk assessment tool; how we know these tools work; whether there is such a thing as a universal pretrial risk assessment tool... Read More

6 pages
Document 029982
The Costs of Pretrial Justice
Public Welfare Foundation (Washington, DC); Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) (Boston, MA).
This "series of briefs which explore the costs of pretrial justice and how those costs can be effectively mitigated through risk-based decision making." "The Cost of Pretrial Justice: This brief highlights costs that local stakeholders should consider when developing pretrial policies and programs, outlines some of the trade-offs policy makers face when allocating scarce resources, and points to the need to apply cost-benefit analysis to pretrial decision making." "Pretrial Justice: Costs and ... Read More

Document 030032
County Jails at a Crossroads: An Examination of the Jail Population and Pretrial Release
By Ortiz, Natalie. National Association of Counties (NACo) (Washington, DC).
"This study is the first to examine the participation of county jails in pretrial release. The report identifies the pretrial status and risk level of the county jail population and variations across counties of different population sizes. Further, this research analyzes the challenges that county jails face with their pretrial and overall jail population. The study details to what extent county jails use community based programs to release pretrial detainees from confinement in jail and supervi... Read More

23 pages
Document 029996
Washington Corrections Center for Women TEDx Talks
Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) (xxx).
This website provides access to TEDx videos given at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) "Does Gender Matter" event on March 14, 2015. Topics range from the "Northern Cree Women's Honor Song" by the Broken Wing Center, "Tell Me You Don’t See" by Tiffany Williams, "Summon Your Courage" by Cathryn Cummings, "The Hard Stuff" by Felice Davis, "Judging Societie by Women's Prison" by Emily Salisbury, to "Coming to a Neighborhood Near Your" by Marriam Oliver". There are 21 talks.... Read More

Document 029996
Washington Corrections Center for Women TEDx Talks
Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) (xxx).
This website provides access to TEDx videos given at the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) "Does Gender Matter" event on March 14, 2015. Topics range from the "Northern Cree Women's Honor Song" by the Broken Wing Center, "Tell Me You Don’t See" by Tiffany Williams, "Summon Your Courage" by Cathryn Cummings, "The Hard Stuff" by Felice Davis, "Judging Societie by Women's Prison" by Emily Salisbury, to "Coming to a Neighborhood Near Your" by Marriam Oliver". There are 21 talks.... Read More

Document 029986
What Are Drug Courts? The Most Effective Justice Strategy Addressing the Drug-Addicted and Mentally Ill …
National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) (Alexandria, VA).
This website provides information about drug courts. Sections cover: how drug courts work; who is eligible; what drug courts do what drug courts need; types of drug courts with definitions for adult drug court, veterans treatment court, DWI court, family dependency treatment court (family drug court), federal district drug court (federal reentry court), juvenile drug court, reentry court, reentry drug court, and tribal healing to wellness court; problem solving courts using the drug court model ... Read More

Document 029826
Trends in Pretrial Release: State Legislation
By Widgery, Amber. Laura and John Arnold Foundation (New York, NY). National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (Denver, CO).
"State laws provide a framework for judges and other local officials to determine who is eligible for [pretrial] release and under what conditions. In recent years, state legislation has concentrated largely on individualizing the pretrial process by focusing on specific defendants or offense categories. From 2012 to 2014, 261 new laws in 47 states addressed pretrial policy" (p. 1). This document provides an overview of these legislative enactments. Sections cover pretrial legislation by: risk a... Read More

5 pages
Document 029995
Pretrial Assistance to California Counties: (PACC): Humboldt County Technical Assistance Report
Public Welfare Foundation (Washington, DC). Crime and Justice Institute (CRI) (Oakland, CA).
"This report provides an overview of technical assistance process and results in Humboldt County. It describes CJI work with Humboldt County officials to identify goals, make process improvements, and measure outcomes. It also describes challenges for Humboldt County—and potentially for other California jurisdictions—as they work to improve the pretrial justice system going forward." Sections of this publication include: introduction; background; California Policy Reform—Senate Bill 678 and Asse... Read More

9 pages
Document 029828
State Pretrial Release Legislation Database
Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) (Houston, Texas). National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (Denver, CO).
This is the place to look for significant pretrial legislation enacted by states starting in 2012. You can search by topic, state, keyword, status (adopted, enacted, override pending, pending, and to governor), bill number, year, and author. Topics are: Bond Forfeiture and Conditions Violations; Budget, Oversight, and Administration; Citation in Lieu of Arrest; Commercial Bond Regulation; Conditions of Pretrial Release; Court Guidance for Release Determinations; Diversion Programs; Eligibility f... Read More

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
36 pages
Document 029649
Pretrial Services: An Effective Alternative to Monetary Bail
By Lam, Courtney. Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) (New York, NY).
"In an attempt to reduce jail overcrowding, attention is turning to the 63 percent of people held in county jails who have not been convicted of a crime. Many of these people are waiting for their day in court in jail — not because they pose a risk to public safety, but simply because they cannot afford to post bail … This publication examines the challenges of relying on a monetary bail system and highlights existing solutions, such as pretrial services, that save money, reduce racial dispariti... Read More
7 pages
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
15 pages

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