Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saving Money by Reforming Pretrial Release - NY Times Op-Ed

The Right Way to Shrink Prisons

by Shima Baradaran, an associate professor of law at Brigham Young University and the chairwoman of the American Bar Association Pretrial Release Task Force.

Fortunately, there is a more lasting solution to overcrowding, one that gets to the heart of exploding inmate populations nationwide: reform the rules governing pretrial detention, in part by using formulas to help judges better determine which defendants are unlikely to commit crimes while on bail. Doing so not only would make the system more fair, but also would significantly reduce the number of people who are unnecessarily jailed and even reduce crime rates.