If you were to Google “pretrial reform,” you would find several reputable organizations advocating for process changes to our criminal justice system. Most organizations bring up the abolishment of bail processes and the elimination of pretrial incarceration for minor, non-violent offenses. Organizations and individuals against pretrial reform argue that allowing people to reenter communities while awaiting trial could allow for repeat offenses or time to flee.
There is a middle ground solution that allows for both the elimination of pretrial incarceration and bail systems while also holding people accountable while they await trial: pretrial monitoring.
Pretrial monitoring removes cost burdens on participants
If you had to pay for unexpected auto repairs tomorrow, would you have the funds to do it? Finding a large sum of money quickly – hundreds if not a thousand dollars – can be challenging for most Americans. Yet, that is the process people have to navigate within our current bail system. Their options are to produce bail money or await their trial in jail. Both can have severe consequences on their lives for years to come.
Pretrial monitoring using smartphone based applications or devices removes the cost burden from people awaiting trial. Using supplied devices and software, participants now have access to critical content without upending their finances. Agencies can more easily communicate important information about upcoming hearings and court proceedings, which better prepares participants for their trial.
Pretrial monitoring allows equal access to services
By providing devices and software to participants, agencies are more justly serving their participants. No matter a person’s income, background or circumstances, these devices can be equitably distributed. This guarantees that everyone has the same access to essential information, allowing for personal accountability on behalf of the participant.
Pretrial monitoring keeps participants in their communities until proven guilty
You don’t have to be a legal scholar to know the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” Yet, people await trials from their jail cells simply because they can’t pay their bail. While bail is not considered a fine or punishment, it acts as one when lack of payment sends you to jail. By transitioning to pretrial smartphone monitoring, people can remain in their communities stigma free, which helps them retain employment, care for their children and support their families. This reserves punishment – time spent in jail – for people convicted of crimes.
Pretrial monitoring is more cost effective than incarceration
Incarceration is expensive, and the cost is paid by taxpayers in the community. Incarcerating people accused of minor, nonviolent crimes before their trial can significantly reduce inmate populations and reduce a community’s incarceration costs.
Corrisoft’s Alternative to Incarceration via Rehabilitation, or AIR, system is used by agencies across the country to reimagine pretrial processes. The implementation of Corrisoft AIR increases court appearance rates, helps stabilize communities and ultimately keeps people out of jail. Our graduated accountability spectrum provides flexibility for agencies and varied levels of support for participants. It’s a single solution that meets a broad range of needs. Are you interested in learning more? Reach out today.