Under current law, if a defendant is arrested for certain crimes and the court determines that the public would be in significant peril if the accused is released, the defendant is not bailable. The bill removes from the list of crimes that are not bailable the crime of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and sex assault crimes.
The bill requires each judicial district to develop:
- A pretrial screening process; and
- A chief judge administrative order specifying written criteria for the immediate release of certain defendants without any monetary conditions.
The office of the state court administrator shall develop statewide standards and guidelines for the pretrial screening process and written criteria for immediate release of certain defendants without any monetary conditions.
The bill creates a presumption that a defendant should be released with the least restrictive conditions possible and without monetary conditions unless the court finds one or more of the following:
- The person poses a substantial risk of danger to the safety of any person or the community; or
- There is a substantial risk that the person will attempt to flee prosecution; or
- There is a substantial risk that the person will attempt to obstruct or otherwise wilfully avoid the criminal process; and
- There are no reasonable nonmonetary conditions of release that reasonably assure:
- The safety of any person or the community;
- That the person will not attempt to flee prosecution; or
- That the person will not attempt to obstruct or otherwise wilfully avoid the criminal justice process.
The bill requires the court to consider the results of empirically developed and validated risk assessment instruction when making determinations about the type of bond and conditions of release, but the assessment cannot be the sole basis for the decision. The bill outlines the other factors to consider in selecting the type of bond and conditions of release.
The bill delineates the types of bond that a court can set:
- An unsecured personal recognizance bond, which may include an amount specified by the court;
- An unsecured personal recognizance bond with additional nonmonetary conditions of release designed specifically to reasonably ensure the appearance of the person in court and the safety of any person or persons or the community;
- A bond with secured monetary conditions; and
- A bond with secured real estate conditions when the court determined that release on an unsecured personal recognizance bond without monetary conditions will not reasonably ensure the appearance of the person in court or the safety of any person or persons or the community.
The bill requires all counties and cities and counties to develop a pretrial services program by July 1, 2020. A community advisory board is established in each county or city and county to develop the plan for the pretrial services program. The chief judge shall approve the plan developed by the community advisory board prior to implementing and starting the pretrial services program. The bill prohibits for-profit entities from operating a pretrial services program and requires any entity operating a pretrial services program to be conflict free. The bill creates a funding program to allow judicial districts to develop and sustain pretrial programs. If a county is unable to operate a pretrial services program, the county shall file a statement of inability to comply with the state court administrator, which must outline, in detail, the reasons why the county is unable to provide a pretrial services program. The office of the state court administrator shall develop minimum standards for pretrial services programs, and the bill specifies other criteria for pretrial services programs. The bill requires the state court administrator to review and approve an empirically developed and validated risk assessment instrument to be used by pretrial services programs.
The bill specifies how a defendant, prosecuting attorney, or bonding and release commissioner can ask for a review and modification of bond.
The bill appropriates $440,493 from the general fund to the judicial department, of which, $330,253 goes to general court administration and $110, 240 goes to information technology services. The bill appropriates $39,813 to division of criminal justice in the department of public safety for administrative services.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)