Bernalillo County touts pretrial release program

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bernalillo County says the system it uses to evaluate defendants for release before trial is working.

The county’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council released the results of a two-year study on felony cases. It found 83% of defendants who were released before trial had no arrests while on pretrial release, and the overwhelming majority of them made their court appearances.

“This tool was never meant to be a silver bullet, it was never meant to replace judicial discretion. It was meant to be a guide and use data to give judges more information,” Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins said.

The study was conducted between July 2017, when pretrial reforms went into effect, and March 2019. The study was done through the University of New Mexico’s Institute for Social Research.

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