On July 30, 2018, NHMC and criminal justice reform advocates released a statement of concerns related to pretrial risk assessments. For years, civil rights advocates have urged states to eliminate secured money bail, which has had a disproportionate impact communities of color and low-income populations. As detailed in the statement, “The extraordinary measure of pretrial detention should be treated as a last resort and should only be imposed upon an accused person after they’ve received a thorough, adversarial hearing that observes rigorous procedural safeguards respecting individual rights, liberties, and the presumption of innocence.”
Additionally, advocates implore jurisdictions to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of automated pre-trial risk assessment tools. The underlying algorithms should be designed with community input, aiming to reduce and ultimately eliminate unwarranted racial disparities across the criminal justice system.
Click here to review the shared statement.