A bill has been amended to require jails to exercise best practices by revalidating pretrial scoring instruments periodically while ensuring the jails are not overburdened by the requirement.
HB 49 – Criminal Procedure – Pretrial Release – Pretrial Risk Assessment Instruments (CF SB 68) passed third reader in the Senate making it through one of the final hurdles before becoming law. The bill has been successfully amended to address county concerns.
As introduced the bill would require counties that use pretrial scoring instruments to have those tools independently assessed every three years. While counties believe it is important to use evidence-based tools that are effective, efficient, and equitable the three year timeline would have onerous and unnecessary financial and operational impacts that would have unintentionally undermine the ability for county jails to efficiently use pretrial scoring instruments.
To address these concerns, MACo proposed amendments that would (1) extend the timeline between reassessments to a frame that is reasonable and feasible for effective assessments; and (2) extend, clarify, and prioritize a source of grant funding for the reassessments so as not to impose an unfunded mandate on county jails.
MACo and the bill sponsors were able to come to an agreement. As amended the bills require revalidation of pretrial scoring instruments every 5 years and ensure the revalidations are eligible for coverage under the Pretrial Grant Program.
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.