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Criminal Justice Reference: 181939

Criminal Justice Reference: 181939

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Published by: DOJ on Jan 22, 2008
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Title: Pretrial Services Programs: Responsibilities and Potential.Series: Issues and PracticesAuthor: Barry Mahoney, Bruce D. Beaudin, John A. Carver III, Daniel B.Ryan, Richard B. HoffmanPublished: NIJ, March 2001Subject: Pretrial Services; crime prevention; minority overrepresentation130 pages286,000 bytes------------------------------Figures, charts, forms, appendixes, and tables are not included in this ASCIIplain-text file. To view this document in its entirety, download the Adobe Acrobatgraphic file available from this Web site or order a print copy from NCJRSat 800-851-3420 (877-712-9279 For TTY users).------------------------------U.S. Department of JusticeOffice of Justice ProgramsNational Institute of JusticeNational Institute of JusticeIssues and PracticesPretrial Services Programs: Responsibilities and Potential------------------------------U.S. Department of JusticeOffice of Justice Programs810 Seventh Street N.W.Washington, DC 20531John AshcroftAttorney GeneralOffice of Justice ProgramsWorld Wide Web Sitehttp://www.ojp.usdoj.govNational Institute of JusticeWorld Wide Web Sitehttp://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij------------------------------Pretrial Services Programs: Responsibilities and PotentialbyBarry MahoneyBruce D. BeaudinJohn A. Carver IIIDaniel B. RyanRichard B. HoffmanMarch 2001NCJ 181939
Issues and Practices in Criminal Justice is a publication series of theNational Institute of Justice. Each report presents the program options andmanagement issues in a topic area, based on a review of research andevaluation findings, operational experience, and expert opinion on thesubject. The intent is to provide information to make informed choices inplanning, implementing, and improving programs and practices incriminal justice.------------------------------National Institute of JusticeCarolyn PeakeProgram MonitorLegrome DavisSupervising Judge, Criminal DivisionPhiladelphia Court of Common Pleas1201 Criminal Justice Center1301 Filbert StreetPhiladelphia, PA 19107Bennie H. FrazierChief, U.S. Pretrial ServicesOffice for the Southern District of Florida (Retired)1595 N.E. 135th StreetMiami, FL 33161John S. GoldkampProfessor, Department of Criminal Justice520 North Columbus BoulevardSuite 600Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, PA 19123D. Alan HenryDirector, Pretrial ServicesResource Center1325 G Street N.W., Suite 770Washington, DC 20005Robert WesselsCourt AdministratorHarris County Criminal Courts at Law301 San Jacinto, Room 401Houston, TX 77002Melinda WheelerAssistant General ManagerKentucky Pretrial Services100 Millcreek ParkFrankfort, KY 40601Prepared for the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice,by Abt Associates Inc., under contract # OJP-94-C-007. Points of view oropinions stated in this document are those of the authors and do notnecessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S.Department of Justice.
The National Institute of Justice is a component of the Office of JusticePrograms, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, theBureau of Justice Statistics, the Office of Juvenile Justice and DelinquencyPrevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime.------------------------------ForewordPretrial services programs can be valuable resources for makingsignificant improvements in the criminal justice system because they areused in the early stages of the criminal case process. Unnecessarydetention before trial not only results in unnecessary jail costs, it alsodeprives defendants of their liberty. From a policy perspective, decisionsabout detaining or releasing defendants should balance the benefits ofrelease and the risk of flight or threat to public safety.Money bail remains a common mechanism for releasing or detainingarrestees. But bail limits the decision to release defendants to one primaryfactor: a defendant's ability to raise money. Pretrial services programsoffer the court alternatives by improving the breadth and quality ofinformation about defendants--including their housing and employmentsituation, relationships with family, and other ties to the community--andby providing services to address identified needs. All 94 districts in theFederal court system and more than 300 localities now operate pretrialservices programs, which use a variety of mechanisms, including bail, tohelp the court decide whether to release or detain defendants pendingfurther legal proceedings.This report provides a review of issues and practices in the pretrialservices field. It describes how pretrial programs operate, discusses keypolicy issues, and outlines issues and challenges for the future. It paysparticular attention to how pretrial services programs obtain and conveyinformation relevant to the pretrial release/detention decision. It alsodescribes how pretrial services agencies, the court, and other criminaljustice system agencies can work together to minimize the risks ofnonappearance and pretrial crime.This report encourages policymakers and practitioners to examinefront-end decisionmaking practices and consider the roles pretrial servicesprograms can play in making criminal justice processes more effectivewhile enhancing public safety.------------------------------PrefaceThis document reflects contributions made by a great many individuals.The report addresses both policy issues and operational practices, and inpreparing it we have gained knowledge, insight, and ideas from a broadrange of policymakers, practitioners, and researchers.A number of practitioners from jurisdictions across the United Statespatiently answered our questions and sent materials describing theirprograms. In particular, we gratefully acknowledge help received fromSusan W. Shaffer, Director, and Janice Bergin and Laura DeVol, Districtof Columbia Pretrial Services Agency; Robin Rooks, Director, Pretrial

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