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  • Policing Black Bodies (Part 3): There is no Pretrial Justice without Racial Justice

    The events unfolding across our nation today renew a long-standing call for fundamental changes to our nation’s institutions. While today’s cries echo the protests following the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, and so many other Black people killed by the police—and the hopes expressed during the marches of the Civil Rights Movement—the story of race, racism, and white privilege in America has its roots firmly planted in over 400 years of history. Only by fully understanding our nation’s legacy of chattel slavery we can begin to combat the current social structures that perpetuate institutional racism.

  • Policing Black Bodies (Part 4): Gender-Based Violence and Pretrial Justice

    How do we honor the presumption of innocence while dealing with violence between people? Harm between people is the “property” of the state – they bring the charges, they decide the fate, they issue the punishment. Over the decades, a focus on victims’ rights – particularly around victims of intimate partner violence – has meant harsher laws with harsher punishment, rather than a centering of accountability inside those relationships and to provide what’s needed to restore people – all of them. In this next edition of Policing Black Bodies, we are going to talk about interpersonal violence in the context of pretrial justice. In addition to Drs. Hattery and Smith we will be joined by special guests who will help us rethink the causes of interpersonal violence, our status quo solutions, how to balance the accused’s liberty and the harmed person’s right to be free from fear.

  • Policing Black Bodies (Part 5): Police and Pretrial Justice

    For a decade, PJI's engagement around police reform was limited to the idea of an expanded use of pre-arrest diversion and citations in lieu of custodial arrest. The idea, of course, was that the fewer people needlessly booked into the jail, the less chance they would have of being impacted by money bond, onerous supervision requirements, and now risk assessment. But the events of this year have asked us to think more deeply about policing reforms versus defunding the police. Even if other systems —health care, child welfare, employment, housing — were fully funded, are they free of systemic racism and ready to take over? Join us for a lively debate about the history of the police, the impact of militarization, and for those of us working on pretrial justice, where we might plug in to the calls for a radical reimagining of policing.

  • Race and Pretrial Detention: Why Data Matters

    Join us for a conversation with Wendy Sawyer of the Prison Policy Initiative, who will talk about their new issue brief, How race impacts who is detained pretrial, and PPI's mission of using data to spark advocacy campaigns. We'll also be joined by Douglas Smith from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition who will share his on-the-ground experience using data as a tool for decarceration in Texas.

  • First Friday Forum: Community Supports & Public Defense

    Join us for the October First Friday Forum for a conversation with April Frazier Camara of the Black Public Defender Association and Raj Jayadev from Silicon Valley De-Bug on Community Supports + Public Defense. We'll be discussing what people need to be successful while their case is pending, the role that defense attorneys can play in meeting those needs, and how support can be provided in the community, by the community.

  • Pretrial Justice in 60 Minutes

    Pretrial Justice in 60 Minutes is a crash course in the basics of pretrial justice challenges and solutions.

  • First Friday Forum: What's Happening in Pretrial Justice: COVID-19 + Black Lives Matter

    COVID-19 continues to overwhelm jails across the country. Join us for the August First Friday Forum for a look at how civil rights groups and defenders are responding, through filing lawsuits over failures to provide basic sanitation supplies and medical care, and creating motion banks for challenging pretrial detention. We will also discuss how Black Lives Matter protesters are being treated in the criminal legal system, and what communities are doing to change that.

  • First Friday Forum: Building Community Remotely - Tips for Working and Convening Online

    With COVID-19 causing interruptions, cancellations, and quarantines, we wanted to take some time to share with you some practical ways to advance pretrial justice from wherever you may find yourself. Join PJI for an informal conversation about strategies we have found beneficial when working remotely, facilitating online events, and how we might be able to help you!

  • Beyond the Algorithm: Pretrial Reform, Risk Assessment, and Racial Fairness

    Risk assessments—automated formulas that measure the “risk” a defendant will be rearrested or fail to appear in court—are among the most controversial issues in criminal justice reform. To proponents, they offer a corrective to potentially biased decisions made by individual judges. To opponents, far from disrupting biases, risk assessments are unintentionally amplifying them, only this time under the guise of science.

  • Survey says what?!?! Results from the Scan of Pretrial Practices

    Join us for the September First Friday Forum to find out how this 3rd generation of bail reform is taking root in local communities. The Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) has conducted a national scan of practices approximately every ten years since 1979. The 2019 Scan of Pretrial Practices surveyed counties – from large and urban to small and rural – about their pretrial justice practices. You’ll be simultaneously encouraged and concerned as we share highlights of this soon-to-be-released report.