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" (p. 3). There were only eight multi-jurisdictional pretrial risk-assessments being used in 2012, all of which depended on defendant interviews. The foundation for an effective non-interview-based risk assessment was the Kentucky Pretrial Risk Assessment (KPRA), an objective instrument comprised of 12 risk factors, some of which were interview-based. The validated assessment was the KPRA-S, a seven risk factor assessment. The KPRA-S was found to accurately determine low-, moderate-, and high-risk defendants. The assessment was also found to predict those individuals prone to fail to appear (FTA) or commit new criminal activity (NCA) as well as the KPRA.
"The current study seeks to investigate the effect of pretrial supervision on the likelihood of failure to appear (FTA) and new criminal activity (NCA) before case disposition. First, drawing on data from two states, this research isolates two groups of defendants: those released pending case disposition with supervision and those released without supervision. Second, this research compares the two groups across several descriptive factors regarding likelihood of FTA and NCA while in the community pending case disposition" (p. 3). Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; sample description; and findings regarding the impact of pretrial supervision on the likelihood of FTA and NCA while awaiting case disposition. When moderate- and high-risk defendants had pretrial supervision they were 33% less likely not to appear in court, while all those defendants who were supervised for 180 days or more were 36% less likely to be re-arrested for new offenses.
"Each time a person is arrested and accused of a crime, a decision must be made as to whether the accused person, known as the defendant, will be detained in jail awaiting trial or will be released back into the community. But pretrial detention is not simply an either-or proposition; many defendants are held for a number of days before being released at some point before their trial. The release-and-detention decision takes into account a number of different concerns, including protecting the community, the need for defendants to appear in court, and upholding the legal and constitutional rights afforded to accused persons awaiting trial. It carries enormous consequences not only for the defendant but also for the safety of the community" (p. 3). This study examines the relationship between pretrial detention and sentencing. Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; sample description; and findings for eight research questions regarding the relations between pretrial detention and sentencing. Defendants who are detained for the entire pretrial period are three times more likely to be sentenced to jail or prison and to receive longer jail and prison sentences.
"The release-and-detention decision takes into account a number of different concerns, including protecting the community, the need for defendants to appear in court, and upholding the legal and constitutional rights afforded to accused persons awaiting trial. It carries enormous consequences not only for the defendant but also for the safety of the community … Using data from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, this research investigates the impact of pretrial detention on 1) pretrial outcomes (failure to appear and arrest for new criminal activity); and 2) post-disposition recidivism" (p. 3). Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; sample description; research objective one—investigate the relationship between length of pretrial detention and pretrial outcome; and research objective two—investigate the relationship between pretrial detention, as well as the length of pretrial detention, and new criminal activity post-disposition (NCA-PD). There appears to a direct link between how long low- and moderate-risk defendants are in pretrial detention and the chances that they will commit new crimes.