Pretrial Program

Pretrial programs have operated in California for over a quarter of a century. While programs differ in many ways—the entity that operates the program, the timing of pretrial release determinations, the use of risk assessment instruments—they share in their focus on public safety and evaluating defendants’ risk of reoffending or failure to appear in court.

In California, the majority of pretrial programs are operated by the court in partnership with the local jail and Sherriff, police departments and community based agencies.

Training and Education
In 2015, the Judicial Council hosted a two-day training for pretrial programs and justice partners, followed by a one-day training program.  Programs covered pretrial law and procedures, jail populations, validated risk assessments, effectiveness of bail and common challenges facing pretrial programs.  In 2016, programs reconvened to discuss sustainability, model data collection, judicial leadership and how to improve appearance rates.

Pretrial materials from the 2015 and 2016 trainings:

County Pretrial Programs: