Pretrial Assessments - Bias & Disparities?: Staying Grounded in Research                                                                                                                                                                        The National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies   (NAPSA) has been carefully following claims about disparities and bias related to actuarial pretrial assessments. As the debate continues, NAPSA has noted the dust settling around a large body of research, providing clarity to this polarizing topic. We have always been advocates of pretrial research and have encouraged the exploration of pretrial outcomes for decades. NAPSA continues to promote and encourage research on pretrial assessment validity and potential disparities and bias. We believe that the evidence itself should lead this debate and must be controlled by rational, objective analyses. Click here to download the full pdf of the publication.   

Freedom Denied: How the Culture of Detention Created a Federal Jailing Crisis Needs
CHICAGO (December 7, 2022)  The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic (FCJC) at the University of Chicago Law School today announced the release of the first national investigation of federal pretrial detention, Freedom Denied: How the Culture of Detention Created a Federal Jailing Crisis. The report identifies a “federal jailing crisis” that disproportionately impacts poor people of color. Freedom Denied is authored and researched by Professor Alison Siegler, former Federal Defender and current Founding Director of the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic and Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. "This work is about bringing to light a ‘culture of detention’ that exists in the federal legal system and helping judges to realign their practices so that justice-involved individuals do not face illegal and inequitable detention.” Click here to view complete document. 
Factsheet: Identifying and Addressing Pretrial Needs
Through the investigation of four critical questions, this fact sheet summarizes the existing research regarding the needs of people going through the pretrial process, including their commonly identified needs, how their needs differ across subgroups, and the role of the pretrial system in addressing these needs. In addition, this fact sheet identifies salient gaps in knowledge and outlines new directions for the pretrial field.  Click here to download the full pdf of the factsheet or visit   
 NAPSA Releases COVID-19 Survey Results 
As state and local jurisdictions were dealing with the onset of the pandemic, NAPSA created a survey to learn what responses to COVID-19 were being taken by pretrial service agencies across the United States. We wanted to learn how various agencies had been impacted and understand in greater details how practices may have changed as a result of COVID-19.  In sharing this information broadly, we can learn from one another and start a conversation for how we can be better prepared for the future. Understanding how practices have been modified pre-and-post- COVID-19, will help us assess whether the beneficial policies and practices being implemented have potential for expansion and to understand what future reforms are possible. To access the survey results, please click here.  To view an article written by The Crime Report about the survey findings, please click here 

NAPSA Standards on Pretrial Release, 2020 Edition The NAPSA has published its revised 2020 Edition of the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies’ (NAPSA) Standards on Pretrial Release continues the mandate of previous Editions—to describe the components of an effective, legal, and evidence-based bail system. It also updates the Standards with the developing body of knowledge about best and promising practices in the pretrial field and changes to the legal definition of and the requirements for fair and reasonable bail decision-making. Revisions from past Editions include: (1) a focus on a systems approach to improving bail decision making, with broader and more defined roles for the court, prosecution, and defense; (2) greater recognition and advocacy of pretrial services agencies as an essential element of effective bail systems; (3) a call to ban the use of money as a type of bail, a requirement of pretrial supervision or a means of detention; and, (4) support for empirically developed and validated pretrial risk assessments to help predict the likelihood of return to court and arrest-free pretrial behavior and to assist in identifying conditions appropriate to specified risk factors.  View the complete document here 

New Diversion Resources 
Diversion 101, is a series of articles that offers a new framework for understanding diversion. Developed by the Center for Effective Public Policy in partnership with the National Association of Pretrial Services AgenciesDiversion 101 advances the foundational work done in the field of diversion to date and offers a roadmap for planning, implementing, and sustaining research-based diversionary options. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the series examines pre-conviction diversion options, provides clarity around their purposes, proposes guiding principals, and explores their public safety and other benefits.  You can find the new articles here
NEW Publication: Using Front End Interventions to Achieve Public Safety and Healthy Communities 
The symposium highlighted promising law enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial interventions at the pretrial stage and promoted dialogue among justice practitioners on how front-end interventions could fit within an evidence-based, harm reduction-focused criminal justice framework. As illustrated above, participants at the symposium learned about and considered various alternative approaches to increasing public safety and addressing health issues facing their communities. They also shared their experiences with—and perspectives on—implementing front-end interventions in their own jurisdictions. Publication now available here.
Federal Probation - September 2018 issue now online
This special issue deals with the subject of "Pretrial Services: Front-End Justice" and is available online.
Pretrial Release and Probation: What is the Same and What is Different? By: Timothy R. Schnacke (August, 2018)
Pretrial release and Probation are outwardly similar, and jurisdictions across the country have routinely turned to probation entities to house pretrial services functions, which are beginning to be seen as essential ingredients of criminal justice systems lawfully and effectively administering pretrial release and detention. Despite these similarities, however, the significant differences between pretrial release and probation, including differences in histories, purposes, legal foundations, and research, mean that we must act with caution when adding or consolidating functions. This paper, written by Timothy R. Schnacke, is designed to be a part of the helpful literature that jurisdictions can use to develop lawful and effective pretrial systems, especially when those systems will be operating within probation entities or combined with probation functions. You can download the document here.
NAPSA President Penny Stinson's message on U.S. v. Salerno
Friday, May 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of U.S. v. Salerno. Please read NAPSA President Penny Stinson's remarks on this important day in pretrial justice history.
Myths & Facts, Series II: "Using Risk and Need Assessments to Enhance Outcomes and Reduce Disparities in the Criminal Justice System"
This "Myths & Facts" package includes a one-page list of myths and facts along with a research-based supporting document to help dispel three specific myths regarding the use of risk and need assessments within the criminal justice system. A description and relevant research to dispel each myth is provided. Our network believes that risk and need assessments currently provide the most accurate, objective prediction of the risk to recidivate. While risk and need assessments do not predict with perfect accuracy, they guide practitioners in the field towards the most accurate and equitable decisions available for safely managing justice-involved individuals. To read the report, click here.
"A Framework for Pretrial Justice: Essential Elements of an Effective Pretrial System and Agency"
This publication is a guide for jurisdictions interested in improving current elements of their pretrial systems or creating needed procedures and practices. It will also serve as a resource for practitioners and policy makers to compare current pretrial release and diversion practices to recognized evidence-based and best practices and national standards.  NAPSA is proud to partner with NIC to help deliver this critical document to the pretrial field. To read the report, click here.
"Model" Bail Laws: Re-Drawing the Line Between Pretrial Release and Detention 
This paper is likely useful to all persons seeking answers to questions surrounding pretrial justice today. But it should be especially useful to those persons who are taking pen to paper to re-write their laws to determine whom to release and whom to potentially detain pretrial – essentially, to re-draw the line between purposeful release and detention. To read the report, click here.
Available Now: NIC Pretrial Justice Broadcast Recording
If you missed the live broadcast, view the streamed version of NIC's Pretrial Justice: How to Maximize Public Safety, Court Appearance and Release online.
Washington Post: When it Comes to Pretrial Release, Few Other Jurisdictions do it D.C.’s Way
Read the article here.