Bail Reform

Publications

Demystifying Risk Assessment: Key Principles and Controversies

Demystifying Risk Assessment: Key Principles and Controversies

By Sarah Picard-Fritsche, Michael Rempel, Jennifer A. Tallon, Julian Adler and Natalie Reyes

This paper explains the science underlying risk-based decision-making and explores both the promise and controversies associated with the increasing application of “big data” to the field of criminal justice. While the technology has contributed to important policy reforms, such as the diversion of low-risk groups from jail and prison, debate has arisen over the potential for risk assessments to reproduce existing racial biases, the lack of transparency of some proprietary tools, and the challenge of applying classifications based on group behavior to individual cases. Along with identifying an emerging professional consensus that the careful and ethical implementation of risk assessment tools can improve outcomes, the paper closes with a series of best practices urging jurisdictions adopt a localized, collaborative approach.

Publications

Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

This report lays out a series of reforms to significantly reduce New York City's jail population, a move that would also cut costs substantially. To identify ways to safely reduce the use of jail, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice commissioned research on the path of criminal cases from arrest through bail decisions to sentencing. Among the report’s findings:

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Publications

FACT SHEET: Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

FACT SHEET: Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

To identify ways to safely reduce the use of jail, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice commissioned research on the path from arrest through bail to sentencing. The research also examined how much taxpayers spend on incarceration.

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Publications

Navigating the Bail Payment System in New York City: Findings and Recommendations

Navigating the Bail Payment System in New York City: Findings and Recommendations

By Elise White, Melissa Labriola, Ashmini G. Kerodal, Elise Jensen and Michael Rempel

This report documents the bail payment process in New York City courts and correctional facilities and provide 17 recommendations to improve practices. Based on these recommendations, the city is working to launch the first-ever online bail payment system in partnership with the state courts and has begun implementing a number of other solutions detailed here. Approximately 16,000 individuals per year are bailed out of Department of Correction facilities in New York City, in most cases requiring family or friends to make the sometimes lengthy and costly journey to city jails. Continuing to simplify the bail payment process could greatly reduce the number of short jail stays resulting solely from the difficulty of paying bail at arraignment. This report received funding from the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

Publications

Reducing Jail and Protecting Victims: A Roundtable on Pretrial Supervised Release

Reducing Jail and Protecting Victims: A Roundtable on Pretrial Supervised Release

By Julian Adler and Katie Crank

In January 2016, jail reduction and victim advocates discussed strategies for including the voices of survivors of crime in implementing pretrial supervised release programs. This document highlights the far-reaching and complicated discussion. The facilitated roundtable was convened by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Center for Court Innovation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, a national initiative to reduce mass incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.

Publications

An Experiment in Bail Reform: Examining the Impact of the Brooklyn Supervised Release Program

An Experiment in Bail Reform: Examining the Impact of the Brooklyn Supervised Release Program

By Josephine W. Hahn

This report presents findings from a study examining the impact of the Brooklyn Supervised Release Program, which engages misdemeanants who cannot afford relatively low bail amounts. When compared to a matched sample arraigned in the year before program launch, Supervised Release participants arraigned between November 2013 and September 2014 were significantly more likely to be released, spent fewer days in detention, and were less likely to receive a criminal conviction or jail sentence. Qualitative findings showed that participants held positive views of the Supervised Release staff and program model.

Download update on re-arrest rates through 2016

Publications

Fact Sheet: Brooklyn Justice Initiatives

Fact Sheet: Brooklyn Justice Initiatives

An overview of Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, a program that seeks to forge a new response to misdemeanor and non-violent felony defendants in Kings County, New York.

Publications

Moving the Mountains: A Conversation with New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

Moving the Mountains: A Conversation with New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

In January of 2015, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman visited the Center for Court Innovation for a one-on-one conversation with Greg Berman. Topics ranged from the challenges of implementing justice reforms, managing fiscal crises, the value of strongly worded dissents, and how Judge Lippman likes to relax. This is an edited transcript of that wide-ranging conversation.

Publications

Brooklyn Justice Intiatives

Brooklyn Justice Intiatives

This Brooklyn Justice Initiatives annual report outlines the first year of a supervised release program that aims to reduce pre-trial detention for misdemeanor defendants in Brooklyn, New York.

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