Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Two national organizations, the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) and the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) advocate for the proliferation of taxpayer-funded pretrial release programs. NAPSA primarily consists of pretrial practitioners and its national standards on pretrial relase clearly states that, "compensated sureties should be abolished."

The PJI states that it advocates throughout the country to increase fairness and access to justice and that their goals of advocacy are three-fold:
  1. Reduce the number of poeple who are held before trial when they pose no threat to the community and will return for court appearances;
  2. Ensure that dangerous people are held before trial, keeping communities safe; and
  3. Increase the number of people who are appropriately diverted from the criminal justice system to services such as mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Of the Pretrial Release programs analyzed, it is clear that dangerous people are not being held before trial but are being released in to our communities. When they fail to appear, more of our tax dollars are used to find them and put them back into the system!

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