Schnacke, Timothy R.
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 the statutory changes. By doing so, the author of this paper hopes to help guide those involved in the administration of bail through the process of moving from a primarily cash-based system toward more rational, transparent, and fair pretrial practices … In 2014, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 14-212 (“Concerning Clarifying Changes to the Provisions Related to Best Practices in Bond Setting,” effective July 1, 2014), which made several modifications to the Colorado bail statute as redrafted pursuant to H.B. 13-1236" (p. 1-2). Sections of this report include: introduction; a brief history of Colorado pretrial bail laws; Colorado constitution; Colorado statutes; the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ); motivation for reform; CCJJ Bail Subcommittee and its three recommendations; legislative debate; Colorado's new pretrial bail provisions; Definition of Bail - Paragraph 16-1-104 C.R.S. (2013); Eligibility/Bailable Offenses – Paragraph 16-4-101 C.R.S. (2013); Right to Bail – Paragraph 16-4-102 C.R.S. (2013); Setting and Selection Type of Bond/Criteria - Paragraph 16-4-103 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Types of Bond - Paragraph 16-4-104 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Conditions of Release - Paragraph 16-4-105 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Pretrial Services Programs - Paragraph 16-4-106 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; Hearing After Setting of Monetary Conditions - Paragraph 16-4-107 C.R.S. (2013) and 2014 legislative changes; additional provisions and 2014 legislative changes; and conclusion.
"Pretrial justice requires that those seeking it be consistent with both their vision and with the concept of pretrial best practices, and this document is designed to help further that goal. It can be used as a resource guide, giving readers a basic understanding of the key areas of bail and the criminal pretrial process and then listing key documents and resources necessary to adopt a uniform working knowledge of legal and evidence-based practices in the field. Hopefully, however, this document will serve as more than just a paper providing mere background information, for it is designed, instead, to also provide the intellectual framework to finally achieve pretrial justice in America … in this country we have undertaken two generations of pretrial reform, and we are currently in a third. The lessons we have learned from the first two generations are monumental, but we have not fully implemented them, leading to the need for some “grand unifying theory” to explore how this third generation can be our last. In my opinion, that theory comes from a solid consensus understanding of the fundamentals of bail, why they are important, and how they work together toward an idea of pretrial justice that all Americans can embrace" (p. 4). Sections following an executive summary are; introduction—what bail and bond are; why we need pretrial improvements; the history of bail; legal foundations of pretrial justice; pretrial research; national standards on pretrial release; pretrial terms and phrases; application—guidelines for pretrial reform; and conclusion.
"The future of pretrial justice in America will come partly from our deliberative focus on our judges’ decisions to release or detain a criminal defendant pretrial and from our questioning of whether our current constitutional and statutory bail schemes are either helping or hindering those decisions … we recognize that we also need a fair and transparent scheme allowing the preventive detention of higher risk defendants without "bail," or judges will continue to be forced to use money to accomplish the same thing, albeit unfairly, non-transparently, and, some would say, unlawfully. A new group of people are now telling us that we can never change our constitution to allow the creation of this scheme, but the fact is that change is inevitable. Indeed, moving from a mostly charge and money-based bail system to one based primarily on empirically-derived risk necessarily means that virtually all American bail laws are antiquated and must be changed … This paper is designed to show a somewhat ideal process for making a release or detain decision, but with the realization that a particular state’s bail laws may hinder that ideal process to a point where best practices are difficult or even impossible to implement. Nevertheless, until we know how the pretrial decision-making process should work (i.e., an in-or-out decision, immediately effectuated), we will never know exactly which changes we must make to further the goals underlying the "bail/no bail" process" (p. 1). Chapters following an executive summary are: introduction; the history and the law related to bail up to the Twentieth Century; how pretrial decision making in the United States got off track; "bail" (release) and "no bail" (detention); the national standards on pretrial release; effective pretrial decision making—risk assessment instruments, and assessing which conditions are effective for their lawful purposes; the practical aspects of making an effective "release/detain" or in-or-out-decision—the three steps of proper purpose, legal assessment, and release or detention result; and conclusion.
According to those who study evidence-based teaching methods, comparing and contrasting two different objects, persons, or even fields and disciplines, such as pretrial release and probation, can have one of the greatest effects on learning. Indeed, comparing and contrasting is considered to be one of the earliest ways that we humans begin learning (going back to how we identify things in early childhood) and makes the best use of elements necessary for all effective learning methods, each of which allows us to form relationships between constructs through reasoning. In sum, comparing and contrasting is highly valuable. Nevertheless, there are three prerequisites to any compare and contrast exercise.