Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Ohio Committee Looks to Reform Bail and Pretrial Services

Image of national consultants Timothy Schnacke and Lori Eville Image of national consultants Timothy Schnacke and Lori Eville

National Institute of Corrections consultants Timothy Schnacke and Lori Eville discuss possible ways to reform bail and pretrial services with members of the Ad Hoc committee.

Image of national consultants Timothy Schnacke and Lori Eville

National Institute of Corrections consultants Timothy Schnacke and Lori Eville discuss possible ways to reform bail and pretrial services with members of the Ad Hoc committee.

Looking to reform pretrial services and bail in Ohio, an Ad Hoc committee of the Ohio Sentencing Commission discussed statewide practices yesterday with national consultants.

The Ad Hoc Committee on Bail and Pretrial Services Reform hosted two consultants with the National Institute of Corrections to learn more about how pretrial services and bail decisions can affect the court system. The committee is made up of judges, court administrators, clerk of courts, public defenders, prosecutors, sheriffs, victim representatives, pretrial services staff, and members of the judicial conference.

Timothy Schnacke, a criminal justice system analyst with more than 30 years of legal experience, gave a nation-wide perspective, while Lori Eville, a correctional program specialist, guided the group in a gap analysis of risked-based evidence and decision making in regard to how courts handle bail and pretrial release decisions. She also presented ideas such as the state develop a legal structure to support the purpose of bail, including a pretrial justice system that considers risk and bail like a dedicated pretrial services agency.

The group also discussed the strengths in current Ohio pretrial services and bail decisions, opportunities for improvement, and what to prioritize in the future.

Ohio Sentencing Commission Director Sara Andrews said it will take about six to eight months for the committee to gather all the information needed to make recommendations to the full commission. A final report will then be delivered to the Ohio Supreme Court and the General Assembly for consideration and action.

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