Judicial Work Group Recommends Major Changes to Bail System
October 26, 2017
The Pretrial Detention Reform workgroup released a report this week that recommends doing away with “money bail.” The workgroup was established a year ago by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye to study California’s bail system. The report says money bail should be replaced by a risk-based assessment and supervision program that determines whether to jail defendants before trial based on their threat to public safety and their likelihood of making a court appearance.
The report contends that a pretrial assessment that gathers information about each defendant would provide judges with a better perspective about that person’s potential risk to the public. Over the past year, the workgroup of 11 judges and one court executive officer heard from a number of stakeholders. The report includes a list of 10 recommendations:
1. Implement a robust risk-based pretrial assessment and supervision system to replace the current money bail system.
2. Expand the use of risk-based preventive detention.
3. Establish pretrial services in every county.
4. Use a validated pretrial risk assessment.
5. Make early release and detention decisions.
6. Integrate victim rights into the system.
7. Apply pretrial procedures to violations of community supervision.
8. Provide adequate funding and resources.
9. Deliver consistent and comprehensive education.
10. Adopt a new framework of legislation and rules of court to implement these recommendations.
For additional information and a copy of the report, please click on this link.