Back to top

Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) (Washington, DC)

This report is essential reading for individuals wanting to achieve "measurable reductions of pretrial misconduct and post-conviction reoffending" (p.6). Eight sections follow an introduction (a new paradigm for the justice system): underlying premises; the key decision points, decision makers, and stakeholders in the criminal justice system; examining justice system decision making through the lens of harm reduction; the principles underlying the framework; applying evidence-based principles to practice; key challenges to implementing this framework; collaboration—a key ingredient of an evidence-based system; and building evidence-based agencies.

A Framework for Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems cover

The Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT) “is an empirically derived multi-jurisdiction pretrial risk assessment instrument for use in Colorado. It is designed to improve the various pretrial assessment processes that exist in local Colorado jurisdictions … The purpose of a pretrial risk assessment protocol that includes the CPAT is to enable Colorado pretrial services agencies’ recommendations for bond conditions, the court’s ordering of bond conditions, and/or the agency’s pretrial supervision to be more empirically derived and standardized statewide” (p. 3). Four chapters comprise this manual: introduction; scoring the 12 CPAT items; CPAT reporting—risk level categories, making bond recommendations using the CPAT, and additional notes; and CPAT revision.

Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT): Administration, Scoring, and Reporting Manual, Version 1 Cover

If you are contemplating the use of another agency’s pretrial risk assessment tool without modification to your own organization’s needs you may want to read this report. The use of pretrial risk assessment and pretrial supervision are examined in this report. Since there has been little to no compatibility found between studies of risk assessment tool utilization, it is suggested that the application of an instrument from one jurisdiction to another probably will not work. The same applies to the use of pretrial supervision programs.

Overview of Research Findings on Pretrial Risk Assessment and Pretrial Supervision Cover

"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."

Pretrial Justice: The Colorado Story Cover

This brief explains how pretrial risk assessments can benefit the community by improving public safety and reducing costs. Sections cover: what a pretrial risk assessment tool is; the risk factors that are on a pretrial risk assessment; why it is important to some a person’s risk level; the effectiveness of pretrial risk assessments; how pretrial risk assessments are developed; the challenges and limitations of a pretrial risk assessment; and the things criminal justice stakeholders can do to implement pretrial risk assessments.

“The Principles report outlines ten operating guidelines that define highly-successful system-level responses to address the needs of drug involved individuals. And the needs are staggering – with estimates as high as 60 percent of arrestees in jail with positive drug tests and fragmented service networks in the highest need communities, the responsibility to treat and rehabilitate drug-involved defendants and offenders has fallen squarely on criminal justice systems. While some systems have had notable successes in meeting these challenges, others continue to struggle. Principles provides a roadmap for leaders and practitioners with guidance like how to identify how severe the substance use is among defendants and offenders, address the diagnosed drivers contributing to the substance abusing behavior, and how to determine the level of intervention based on severity of substance use and on risk to reoffend.” This publication contains sections about: the ten principles of an effective criminal justice response; risk, needs, and evidence-based responses; and moving from aspirational to operational.

Principles of an Effective Cover

Anyone needing to know what legal issues impact pretrial release or what supervision strategies will lead to more effective pretrial release practices should read this report. Sections of this document include: introduction; pretrial legal questions—“blanket” pretrial release condition, drug testing release condition, treatment and assessment release condition, Alcoholics Anonymous/12-Step meetings release condition, pretrial supervision fees, and delegation of judicial authority; national pretrial specific research—pretrial release conditions and interventions and pretrial release types; guidelines for pretrial release recommendations and differential pretrial supervision; and conclusion.

State of the Science of Pretrial Release Recommendations and Supervision Cover

“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 to go next—recommendations for research and practice; and conclusion.

State of the Science of Pretrial Risk Assessment Cover

“This is a guide for elected officials seeking to enhance existing or develop new pretrial justice practices in rural areas. By identifying the characteristics, strengths and challenges in rural jurisdictions and combining these factors with the lessons and experiences of urban, suburban and rural pretrial justice programs, national standards and best practices, this guide offers a set of recommendations to enhance local policies and practices within the context of rural settings” (p. 3). Sections cover: pretrial justice today—the evidence for enhancing pretrial justice, and pretrial justice policy statements and standards; applying the elements of pretrial justice in rural counties—pretrial justice program functions, and policies affecting pretrial justice; and recommendations for elected county officials in rural areas.

The Delivery of Pretrial Justice in Rural Areas: A Guide for Rural County Officials Cover

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 individualized bond setting hearing” (p. 3). Results show that: unsecured bonds work as good as secured bonds at ensuring public safety, court appearances, and fugitive return; unsecured bonds work better at reducing jail bed use in that more defendants can post their bonds and these individuals have quicker release times; and secured bonds increase jail bed use but not court appearance rates.

Unsecured Bonds: The Most Effective and Efficient Pretrial Release Option Cover
Subscribe to Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) (Washington, DC)