Pretrial in America

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This is radio show 265.

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See transcript at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/transcripts/2016/03/pretrial-pretrial-services/

Current Radio Program:

We interviewed Clifford T. Keenan, the Director of the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia. Cliff is a nationally known expert on pretrial operations.

The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia (PSA) has served the Nation’s Capital for more than 45 years with the same important mission: to promote pretrial justice and enhance community safety while honoring the presumption of innocence and each defendant’s right to pretrial release under the least restrictive conditions.

Washington DC is unique in that it is one of the very few jurisdictions that does not use money as a condition of pretrial release. There is no commercial surety taking place, so there are no bail bondsmen operating in DC. There are no persons being detained at the city’s jail because they do not have the money to post “bail,” unlike most other jurisdictions around the country.

PSA is very proud of what the agency has accomplished in nearly half a century of operation, particularly through the development of innovative programs and technologies that distinguish PSA as a leader in the pretrial field. Some of our innovation highlights include:

  • Being among the first criminal justice agencies in the nation to develop an automated criminal history database;
  • Being the first pretrial program to introduce on-site drug testing of defendants;
  • Introducing a state-of-the art paperless barcoding system for drug testing results, which laid the foundation for a comprehensive electronic system that allows judicial officers to access drug test results and detailed chronological records of defendants’ progress in supervision and treatment;
  • Launching the D.C. Superior Court Drug Intervention Program – better known as Drug Court – in partnership with the Court and U.S. Attorney’s Office, to provide intensive treatment and graduated sanctions for all defendants in need of substance use disorder treatment;
  • Collaborating with the D.C. Superior Court to establish one of the first mental health community courts in the United States and to be the first jurisdiction to expand its community courts across the entire city.

The website for PSA is http://www.psa.gov.

Special Announcements:

A top priority for the Department of Justice is to invest in scientific research to ensure that the Department is both tough and smart on crime. The Office of Justice Programs’ CrimeSolutions.gov website shapes rigorous research into a central, reliable, and credible resource to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works in criminal justice.

A new website lists and evaluates prisoner re-entry programs nationwide. Launched by the Urban Institute, the Council of State Governments, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Prisoner Reentry Institute, the “What Works Clearinghouse” can be seen at http://nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/what_works.

The National Reentry Resource Center is a project of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Please see the Center’s website at http://www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/. Please see “Federal Interagency Reentry Council Launches Website, Releases Myth-Buster Series” on the front page of the site (see announcements). CSOSA is a member of the Council. Several requesters have asked for national research on reentry.

The Office of Justice Program’s National Institute of Justice reentry research portfolio supports the evaluation of innovative reentry programs. To access these studies and NIJ’s entire reentry research portfolio visit www.nij.gov/nij/topics/corrections/reentry/welcome.htm .

The Office of Violence Against Women offers stalking response tips for corrections, prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, victims and victim advocates. They are posted on OVW’s website at www.ovw.usdoj.gov .

The National Institute of Corrections Information Center is one of the largest repositories for corrections research and information in the country. See  www.nicic.gov/Library.

Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency:

We welcome your comments or suggestions at leonard.sipes@csosa.gov.

The website for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency is http://www.csosa.gov/.

The program is hosted by Leonard Sipes. The producer is Timothy Barns.

Comments offered on “DC Public Safety” television and radio programs are the opinions of participants and do not necessarily represent the policies of CSOSA or other government agencies.

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