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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ind. Courts - "Bill Would Set Guidelines For Releasing People On Bail"

Barbara Brosher reports today for Indiana Public Media:

A bill that would set guidelines for determining who can be released from jail on bail passed out of a Senate committee Tuesday.

The proposal says people who do not present a substantial risk of fleeing or danger should be released without bail. It excludes those under court-ordered supervision, those facing other charges and those who are charged with murder. * * *

The proposal comes after the Indiana Supreme Court adopted Criminal Rule 26 last year, which asks courts to use evidence-based risk assessments to help make pre-trial release decisions. Chief Justice Loretta Rush wrote in the order that “the prompt release of arrestees who do not pose a risk to public safety is associated with reduced recidivism and eliminates unnecessary expenses resulting from the over utilization of local jail resources.”

The bill is SB 228.

This story is of interest because, as the story notes, the Supreme Court has adopted a rule in this area, Criminal Rule 26. Pretrial release. For background, see this ILB post from Sept. 9, 2016, which points to the controversy between "prosecutors and defense attorneys differ on whether a new criminal rule announced by the Indiana Supreme Court will make the state a safer place." See also this Sept. 15, 2016 post, quoting a story in the Columbus Republic that began:

A new assessment process allows some criminal defendants to be released from the Bartholomew County Jail without posting bond.

A new pretrial process will use risk-assessment results to determine whether a defendant may be released without posting bond or whether that person needs to put up money, as they did before, before being allowed to leave the county jail.

Bartholomew is one of nine Indiana counties that may start using the new pretrial model under rules approved Sept. 7 by the Indiana Supreme Court. They go into effect in Bartholomew County this week and will be rolled out to all Indiana courts by 2018.

It will be interesting to know more about whether this bill is intended to usurp the court rule, and the positions of the various interest groups. Perhaps this will come out in second house committee.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 15, 2017 09:33 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts