The Dangers of Bail Reform Across the US
Criminal Justice Reform (Bail Reform) is sweeping the country...most notably in states like New Jersey.
Based on the premise of reduced costs to states and fairness to the "indigent", legislators are falling for it...and endangering their constituents and law enforcement in the process.
Good Idea...or Just a Scam?
The concept of pretrial release originated based on the premise that the poor and indigent were being penalized because they could not afford bail and therefore were being held in jail longer than those who could post bail right away.
"Black Box" Algorithms...
Risk assessments are typically comprised of a handful or more factors that are then assigned weights to come up with a risk score. Assessments, if validated, are only validated to predict risk, but are not validated to set bail and conditions of release. Thus, a risk assessment is but one more piece of information a judge can use to set the bail and conditions of release. Most risk assessments are intuitive—they are based on prior criminality and failures to appear.