Public Safety

Research Suggests Releasing People on Pretrial Does Not Affect Public Safety

An article published by the Prison Policy Initiative suggests that the long-time stigma of releasing those awaiting trial does not harm public safety. There were no corresponding waves in increased crime in states, cities and counties. “We found four states, as well as nine cities and counties, where there is existing data on public safety from before and after the adoption of pretrial reforms.” All but one of these saw decreases or negligible increases in crime after implementing the pretrial reforms. This is a game changer, as COVID-19 has made jails even more dangerous and vulnerable for incarcerated individuals to become sick. By having pretrial release programs, individuals are staying safer and helping mitigate outside contact to those already behind bars.

In the past criminal justice reformers have long supported pretrial measures and programs but were opposed by district attorneys, police departments, the commercial bail industry and the public saying that releasing individuals puts community safety at risk. However, new studies are finding this to be untrue and that releasing non-violent individuals into community supervision decreases the risk of spreading COVID-19 and prison overcrowding. “About 75% of people held by jails are legally innocent and awaiting trial, often because they are too poor to make bail.” Jail populations can decrease significantly if more individuals are released into pretrial programs and supervision.

TRACKtech is working to keep communities safe, as well as reduce recidivism and stigma’s surrounding community supervision. Our solutions provide whole-person rehabilitation support and compliance monitoring services to those under any type of community supervision, such as pretrial, probation and parole. TRACKphone Lite allows courts to maintain communication and any necessary monitoring with pretrial individuals  as well as send them calendar reminders for upcoming court appearances. Rehabilitative support and additional resources are available through the app for individuals. Utilizing TRACKtech solutions provides a way to check in and communicate with pretrial individuals in a COVID-19 safe protocol prior to their court dates while also keeping the community safe.