Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Pretrial Reform Task Force: Courts Need Information and Alternatives To Improve Pretrial Justice

April 2019 Bar Bulletin

From Washington Courts

Washington courts have the opportunity, with more information and robust pre-trial services, to safely release citizens who are charged with criminal offenses and awaiting trial, according to a report released by Washington’s Pretrial Reform Task Force.

While community safety is a paramount concern for trial judges, under Washington law defendants are presumed to be released while awaiting trial. Pretrial detention can have severe consequences for accused persons, particularly in the areas of employment, housing and family. Unnecessary detention is also costly for taxpayers and communities, and conflicts with Washington’s constitution and judicial branch rules, which establish a...

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