Harris County’s ‘holistic’ approach to public defense provides support in and out of the courtroom
The office is equipped to help people fight their legal cases, but its growing holistic services division can also help improve their daily lives.
One Man’s Fight for Reshaping the Nation’s Public Defense System
We spoke with Stephen Hanlon about the current state of the nation’s public defense system, his tireless work to collect reliable data, and working with U.S. Congress to create substantial change.
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Texas Lawmakers Want to Revamp the State’s Bail System. Their ‘Regressive’ Plan Could Cause More Harm.
We speak to The Bail Project, a national charitable bail fund, about the proposed bill and how it could affect thousands of Texans.
He Languished in Jail for Nearly a Year. Now He’s the Face of California’s Bail Reform.
Kenneth Humphrey was detained without ever being convicted of a crime, all because he couldn’t afford his $350,000 bail. The California Supreme Court ruled that’s unconstitutional.
California Supreme Court Creates ‘Tidal Shift’ in Pretrial Justice System
The California Policy Lab at UC-Berkeley researched the impacts of a recent state Supreme Court ruling that setting unaffordable bail amounts is unconstitutional.
Newsletter: Philadelphia DA Isn’t Backing Down, a ‘Tidal Shift’ in California, & Balanced Bail Reform in Texas
Coming off a decisive victory in Philadelphia County’s Democratic primary, Larry Krasner is eyeing the future and doubling down on his progressive policies.
After a Decisive Win in Philadelphia’s Democratic Primary, Larry Krasner Eyes the Future
The incumbent Philadelphia County district attorney wants to continue cutting back on mass incarceration. And he has the policy ideas to do so.
How New York City Can Close Rikers and Continue to Reduce Jail Population
A new report by CCI provides leaders with a roadmap on how to close the notorious jail by 2027 and support impacted communities.
Newsletter: Texas Lawmakers are Heading Back to Austin. What Does That Mean for Statewide Bail Reform?
Also, how Illinois became the first state to abolish cash bail.
While Texas Counties Pursue Bail Reform, the State Legislature is Pushing for a Rollback.
As lawmakers reconvene at the state Capitol for a special session, we speak with the Vera Institute of Justice about how they will—and should—address the bail system.
How Zealous is giving more power to public defenders
Founded by a former Brooklyn public defender, Zealous aims to create real-world change through collaboration and advocacy
An Inside Look at Texas Jails During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Shedding Light, a project spearheaded by Texas Jail Project, provides a glimpse behind the walls as the virus spread.
Arnold Ventures and NPPJ Are Accepting Proposals for Prosecution Research
In order to make meaningful and effective changes to practice, it is critical for prosecutors to have empirical knowledge about how their practices and policies impact peoples’ lives.
Illinois becomes first state to abolish cash bail: ‘This is a monumental step in the right direction’
The Pretrial Fairness Act strictly limits who can be jailed before they’re convicted of a crime.
Improving Timely Justice in America’s Courts
A study of 136 U.S. courts by the National Center of State Courts found that none met national standards for timeliness in resolving cases.
Newsletter: Can public defenders be another solution to bail reform?
Also, a Q&A with Travis County (Texas) District Attorney José Garza.
José Garza’s unique background brings new vision to Travis County DA’s office
A former public defender and immigration activist, Garza says the current American criminal justice system is broken
DA Krasner Reforms Are Safely Shrinking Probation & Parole System
DA Kranser promised when taking office in 2018 to make the criminal justice system fairer.
As Calls for Bail Reform Ring Nationwide, Could the Answer Lie with Public Defenders?
At the Pittsburgh Municipal Court, the RAND Corporation partnered with the local public defender’s office to study how defense attorneys can impact bail hearings.
Will Texas Finally Tackle Bail Reform?
In the wake of several federal court decisions ruling money bail systems unconstitutional — and facing the exorbitant cost of detaining tens of thousands of unconvicted people —advocates on the left and right are calling on the Texas Legislature to finally pass bail reform.
4 Prosecutor-Driven Diversion Programs Giving Second Chances
In honor of Second Chances Month, we’re spotlighting programs that are that keeping people out of the criminal justice system.
Legacy of collaboration leads to meaningful bail reform for a New York county
Months of planning for the 2020 reforms built on years of cross-functional communication.
‘I Just Felt So Violated’: Harvard Researcher’s Study Shows ‘Devastating’ Effects of Jailing People Pretrial
The more time spent in pretrial detention, the greater likelihood a person has further contact with the penal system, according to Dr. Sandra Smith’s study “A Difference A Day Makes.”
As Federal Courts Strike Down Bail Practices, Texas Must Reckon with Reform
Nathan Hecht, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, and Daniel Slayton, the executive director of the Texas Judicial Council, have a vision of what statewide bail reform can look like.
In Los Angeles County, District Attorney George Gascón Has Big Plans for Reshaping the Criminal Justice System
The newly elected DA announced a series of systemic reforms that include ending cash bail and utilizing more diversion programs for low-level charges.
An Intersection of Jails, Arrests, & Mass Incarceration: Q&A with Jessica Pishko on the Role of Sheriffs
Pishko is a lawyer and writer whose research focuses on sheriffs and the political power of law enforcement.
Fighting for A More Just Legal System: Q&A with Civil Rights Corps
Thea Sebastian, CRC director of policy, discusses the ongoing work, bail reform, and why now is the time to create change to the longstanding injustices.
Fairness and Efficiency Are at the Forefront of Reforms in Pulaski County
This is part of a series of Q&A with judges from counties selected as Research-Action Sites for the Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research initiative.
A 24-Year-Old Council Member is Driving Police Reform in California: ‘Driving While Black Shouldn’t Be A Crime’
The city of Berkeley is moving forward with a proposal by Rigel Robinson to shift traffic and parking enforcement away from police officers and into the hands of unarmed city workers.
COVID-19 Brought the Criminal Justice System ‘To Its Knees.’ Here’s What We Can Learn Moving Forward.
A new report by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice gives a first-of-its-kind look at how the pandemic impacted the system.
‘We’re Steering People Away From the Criminal Justice System’: Q&A with Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez
The leader of the nation’s third-largest sheriff’s office—and the largest in Texas—discusses policing and pretrial reform.
Newsletter: Your Vital Work Is Being Recognized At All Levels
The need to reform the nation’s pretrial systems has never been more apparent.
In Harris County, Leaders Taking Creative Approach to Pretrial Reform
The nation’s third-largest county is utilizing diversion programs to keep people charged with non-violent, low-level crimes out of jail.
Across the U.S., Public Defender Offices Focusing on Data, Analytics to Drive Change
Data can provide more transparency and accountability to a system that is struggling to keep up with growing cases and overworked attorneys.
An Unfair Fight: Public Defenders Nationwide Battle System with Fewer Resources, Burdensome Caseloads
It’s a system that produces mass incarceration and disproportionately affects communities of color.
Researchers Release New Studies on the Public Safety Assessment
A series of studies across three U.S. counties looked at whether a tool providing prosecutors and judges with research-based information about a defendant’s past is helping to lead to fairer release decisions.
COVID Reforms Help Improve Communication, Remove Barriers in Thurston County Pretrial Services
As an early hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington State was one of the first places forced to reckon with the realities of the virus, including the toll it could take on the justice system if no action was taken. With that in mind, Thurston County Pretrial Services was one of the many agencies in the state to work swiftly to avoid a disastrous situation.
San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project: Divesting from law enforcement and investing in community
Across the country, advocates are urging leadership to defund police and invest in communities, which is exactly what one California agency has been doing for more than 40 years.
‘We’re Very Thankful’: COVID-19 Reinforces Houston Pretrial Reform Efforts
In the four years that Kelvin Banks has headed Harris County Pretrial Services in Houston, the agency has taken on reform after reform in an effort to create a more safe and equitable justice system –– while also unknowingly preparing for 2020’s impending pandemic.
Emptier Jails and Quicker Release: A Look Into Kentucky’s COVID Pretrial Reforms
Between the release of thousands of incarcerated people, a quickened assessment process, and an expansion of delegated release authority, Kentucky Pretrial Services has grown into a more efficient and consistent system over the past few months, due in part to significant reforms made in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Sparks ‘Unprecedented’ Pretrial Reforms, Survey Shows
A new study from the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies shows significant reforms have been enacted across the country, largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Racism, Policing, and the Criminal Justice System
APPR spoke with Nikki Jones, Ph.D., professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Jones’ research focuses on the experiences of Black women, men, and youth with the criminal justice system and specifically with policing.
Researchers are Bringing Something Surprisingly Novel to Lawmaking: Rigorous Evaluation
Using randomized control trials (RCTs), the A2J Lab conducts rigorous empirical research on the U.S. justice system to discover what reforms produce optimal outcomes for stakeholders.
Newsletter: The National Partnership for Pretrial Justice: One Year Later
Thank you first and foremost for the critical work you’re doing to eliminate unnecessary and unjust pretrial detention across the country.
Kids and Pretrial Justice: The Unique Challenges of Reforming the Juvenile Court System
We sit down with NPPJ members Mary Ann Scali and Sherika Shnider of the National Juvenile Defender Center to talk about the unique challenges of their work.
A Researcher’s Perspective on COVID-19, New York Bail Reform, and Pretrial Justice
A Q&A with Tiffany Bergin, Deputy Director of Research at The New York City Criminal Justice Agency
Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research Statement on COVID-19 and Pretrial Release
Ending Cash Bail: What’s Wrong With Cash Bail and How To Fix It
NPPJ Member Releases Statement on Pretrial Justice and Pretrial Assessments
Newsletter: Our inaugural NPPJ convening
This month, 18 leaders from across the nation gathered at our inaugural National Partnership for Pretrial Justice (NPPJ) convening.
Unconstitutional Use of Cash Bail Makes Cities Less Safe: Conservative Group
Prosecutors Need to Take the Lead in Reforming Prisons
In partnership with Vera Institute, Advocates propose ending cash bail in New Orleans
Vera Institute of Justice, ACLU Louisiana, the Foundation for Louisiana and Stand With Dignity take their case for ending cash bail in New Orleans to the City Council.
States must abolish juvenile fees. They’re putting families in debt.
Why more states should abolish juvenile fees that are racially discriminatory, harm rehabilitation and increase recidivism.
Risk Assessment Tools Are Not A Failed ‘Minority Report’
"Given the terrible harms of business as usual in our courtrooms and jails, we believe that getting risk assessment right is worth the investment in research and resources."
Funding Opportunity: Rural Jails Research and Policy Network
The Vera Institute of Justice, with support from Arnold Ventures, is pleased to solicit proposals from applicants at U.S.-based universities to participate in a new Rural Jails Research and Policy Network as a university “Hub” site. Vera will award up to $200,000 to support each university Hub site’s work as part of this project. Proposals will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 9, 2019
Newsletter: Building the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice Community
As an NPPJ member, you represent a diverse set of stakeholders working to reform our pretrial system.
“When They See Us” Shines a Light on Pretrial Reform
From Selma to 13TH, Ava DuVernay’s films inspire meaningful discussions about the criminal justice system. By recounting real-world injustices, she asks us to interrogate moments in history that have long been misperceived and misunderstood. With the release of the limited Netflix series When They See Us, DuVernay proves that what happened thirty years ago is […]
New Study: Judicial Release Decisions
MDRC measures impact of the Public Safety Assessment and related policy changes in North Carolina and finds decreased use of money bail, more people being released on their own recognizance, and no increase in failures to appear in court or new crime
Jeremy Travis: Public overwhelmingly supports reforming bail system
Quietly and with little fanfare, The Pew Charitable Trusts released a stunning report detailing Americans' opinions on bail reform. I'll cut to the chase: The public overwhelmingly supports changing our pretrial system.
Call To End Cash Bail In Bexar County Intensifies
A group of activists delivered petitions to several Bexar County judges on Thursday calling for the elimination of the use of cash bail or bond for people waiting to appear before a judge.
Cory Booker: It’s time for the next step in criminal justice reform
Edward Douglas woke up on Jan. 10, 2019, in a federal penitentiary in Pekin, Ill., where he had spent every morning of the past 15 years of his life.
Unable to Post Bail? You Will Pay for That for Many Years
Cash bail favors the rich, who can pay it and go home, while poorer people are frequently forced to remain in jail while they await trial.
NFL activists: Nation should follow Philly’s lead on bail reform, nonviolent charges
Last year, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner stopped seeking cash bail for a variety of nonviolent charges, including drug possession and prostitution.
Editorial: Is bail reform dangerous? What the data really says
If you want to see the future of bail reform in Texas, look to Philadelphia.
Arnold Ventures Launches Diverse Partnership to Accelerate Pretrial Justice Reform
Hold for the launch press release