Pre-Trial Release Project
On December 20, 2013, the Indiana Supreme Court created a committee to study evidence-based pre-trial release assessments and to make recommendations to the Court. The Committee recommended the Indiana Supreme Court adopt a new rule to urge Indiana trial courts to use evidence-based risk assessments to inform pretrial release decisions. On September 7, 2016, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an Order adopting Rule 26 of Criminal Procedure. Eleven Indiana counties volunteered to serve as pilot sites for the Indiana Pretrial Release Pilot Project in accordance with Indiana Supreme Court Rule 26.
Why is this important?
The primary purpose of monetary bail and other conditions of release from pretrial detention are to maximize the likelihood of an accused person's presence at trial while striving for both public safety and protection of the presumption of innocence. 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 overutilization of local jail resources. The improvement of Indiana's pretrial release practices will (a) encourage and empower trial judges to release arrestees earlier; (b) reduce pretrial detention expenses for local jails and enable many arrestees to return to their jobs and provide support for their families; (c) eliminate the unfair and often protracted incarceration of poor people who don't have the resources to purchase a bail bond or pay a bail deposit; (d) enhance the reliability of guilty pleas; and (e) realize the benefits of reduced recidivism and enhanced public safety that flow from the use of evidence-based risk assessment tools for pretrial release decisions.