Pretrial Justice


In an effort to help educate the field on the importance and impact that pretrial services can have at the state and local level, the NCJA Center for Justice Planning hosted a three-part pretrial webinar mini-series. The purpose of this mini-series is to help criminal justice practitioners at the state and local levels understand the evidence base behind pretrial risk assessment, release and supervision. Below are webinar descriptions and supporting materials for this series.

The Role of Crime Victims and Advocates in Pretrial Justice Reform

Download slides | Webinar Q & A

As jurisdictions across the Nation seek to reform pretrial practices to improve individual and community safety, it’s important to ask, “Do crime victims and their advocates have roles and responsibilities in pretrial processes?” There are many victims’ rights and services that are relevant to pretrial junctures of the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Co-sponsored by the National Center for State Courts, this webinar will explore crime victims’ concerns, rights and services throughout pretrial justice. Speakers: Anne Seymour, National Crime Victim Advocate (moderator); Aubree Cote, Pretrial Supervision Unit Supervisor, City and County of Denver; Dianne Beer-Maxwell, Program Manager, International Association of Chiefs of Police; Gregory Donat, former judge, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Superior Court; and David Porter, Chief of Police for Dewitt, Iowa, and chair of IACP’s Victim Services Committee.

The Evidence Behind Pretrial: Enhancing the Use of Data-Driven Decision-Making

Download slides | Supplemental article

The Evidence Behind Pretrial: Enhancing the Use of Data-Driven Decision-Making featured a high-level discussion with leading experts on what research says about pretrial detention, risk assessment, and the impact of decision-making on public safety, fairness, and cost-effectiveness. In addition, attendees heard from two pretrial service agencies with experience implementing and using risk assessments to make data-driven decisions related to pretrial release and supervision.

Pretrial detainees account for more than 60 percent of the inmate population in our nation’s jails. The cost to detain defendants pretrial has been estimated at over $9 billion per year. Recent studies show that there are challenges in the current system regarding who should be detained and who should be released pretrial. Many jurisdictions release a large percentage of high-risk defendants, while detaining many low-risk defendants.

Speakers: Anne Milgram, Vice President of Criminal Justice, Laura and John Arnold Foundation; Chris Lowenkamp, Lecturer, University of Missouri - Kansas City; Tara Boh Klute, Chief Operating Officer, Pretrial Services - Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts; and Holly Szablewski, Judicial Review Coordinator - Milwaukee County.

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