Criminal Justice Services
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Strategy 3 involves improving the bail setting policy by formalizing and implementing a policy to provide less restrictive release conditions for defendants who are charged with Class 3 Misdemeanors. This strategy also includes quality assurance reviews to monitor adherence to and outcomes of the policy change. Additionally, strategy 3 addresses broad considerations of alternatives to financial bail and diversion options for high risk, low charge defendants by utilizing a Social Worker to provide linkage to services for this population to reduce length of stay in jail.
Revising the local bail policy to reduce jail bookings of defendants charged with Class 3 Misdemeanors should result in reduced length of stay for these defendants. This policy change will be implemented early in the grant period, as it requires an Administrative Order signed by the Chief District Court Judge. This policy is anticipated to be implemented by the end of 2017.
Reduced jail bookings for defendants on Class 3 Misdemeanor charges with less than four previous convictions, and a reduction in the length of stay of defendants facing only Class 3 Misdemeanor charges with four or more convictions will indicate successful implementation of this policy.
This strategy also includes the addition of a Social Worker within the Public Defender’s Office to assist in diversion efforts for defendants who are high risk, but facing low level Class 1-3 Misdemeanor charges. The Social Worker will assist these defendants with identifying the needs that may result in the defendant’s higher risk scores and providing appropriate linkages for the defendant to services in the community. The success of this position will be measured by the length of stay of high risk, low charge defendants, where a reduction in the length of stay for these individuals indicates successful implementation.
Criminal Justice Services will periodically update this section with strategy and implementation updates, as well as performance dashboards.