Supporters: Risk assessment key to bail reform in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Drug Policy Alliance and others are joining in support of bail reforms in New Mexico, saying there’s a need for more risk assessment tools to help judges determine whether defendants should be detained or released pending trial.

Officials with the alliance, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Rio Grande Foundation gathered Friday in Albuquerque to talk about protecting the fundamental principles of New Mexico’s bail reform initiative as the state Supreme Court considers possible changes.

District attorneys from across the state proposed this week that the rules include more details about what judges can consider when assessing a defendant’s risk.

The recommendations also suggest that the courts not require evidence in any particular form for pretrial detention hearings. Prosecutors say the current interpretation of the rules is draining resources and adding to an already burdensome caseload.

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