Pretrial Justice

Coming Up Short: The Unrealized Promise of In Re Humphrey

Coming Up Short: The Unrealized Promise of In Re Humphrey is a report produced by the Policy Advocacy Clinic at Berkeley Law and the Bail Practicum (now Pretrial Justice Clinic) at UCLA Law. It provides a comprehensive look at the impact of In re Humphrey on the landscape of pretrial detention in the state. The report reaches a grim conclusion: that implementation of this decision is coming up short.

Through qualitative and quantitative analysis of documents across all of California’s 58 counties, the research team found that the promise of Humphrey, 18 months after it was decided, remains unmet. What has emerged through a review of copious data, correspondence, policies, news articles, and a statewide survey of defense attorneys is the following:

  1. There is no evidence that Humphrey has resulted in a net decrease of the pretrial jail population in California;
  2. There is no evidence that Humphrey has resulted in a decrease in bail amounts across California; and
  3. There is no evidence that Humphrey has resulted in a decrease in the average length of pretrial detention in California.

Authors of the report are Alicia Virani, Stephanie Campos-Bui, Rachel Wallace, and two students from the UCLA Law Bail Practicum, Cassidy Bennet '22, and Akruti Chandrayya '22.

Read the report.


Pretrial Electronic Monitoring in Los Angeles County, 2015 - 2021

This report is the first of its kind to analyze longitudinal data on electronic monitoring in the pretrial context in one jurisdiction. Findings of the report reveal  that the number of Angelenos on pretrial electronic monitoring has increased by 5,250% over the past six years with the majority of people spending at least 65 days on EM pretrial. The report reveals that 45% of people have a successful completion rate of their electronic monitoring term, yet judges continue to rely on electronic monitoring as a release condition for people pretrial. In fact, judges are leaning so heavily on EM that in Lancaster, they order electronic monitoring 92% of the time despite having a non-electronic monitoring option. The report overall shows how reliant Los Angeles County has become on electronic monitoring despite there being no conclusive research about its efficacy.

Read the report.


Creating a Needs-Based Pre-trial Release System

“Creating a Needs-Based Pre-trial Release System: The False Dichotomy of Money Bail Versus Risk Assessment Tools” is a report authored by CJP staff and students at UCLA School of Law enrolled in 2019’s Bail Practicum (now Pretrial Justice Clinic). The report proposes an alternative that allows pre-trial detention to be used only in a very limited set of circumstances, while supporting those released pre-trial with community-based, voluntary services to ensure return to court and that other vital needs are being met. The report argues for robust pre-trial detention hearings and proposes a community care and support agency “CASA” that jurisdictions around the country could create to support individuals released pre-trial. In addition, the proposed model would not rely on risk-assessment tools to determine who is released, as there have been concerns that these tools may lead to an increase in racial disparities in the criminal legal system. The authors propose instead a new model that has the potential to reduce failures to appear, mitigate risk, and provide much needed support to people caught up in the criminal legal system.

Read the brief.


Know Your Rights (for Immigrant Families / para Familias Inmigrantes)

UCLA Law’s Criminal Justice Program and Immigrant Family Legal Clinic partnered to produce a set of brochures that would help immigrant families understand how to help if their loved one (adult or minor) is arrested and finds themselves going through the juvenile or criminal legal system. Through the work of the Immigrant Family Legal Clinic, it became clear that families have a number of questions, fears, and anxieties when a loved one is arrested. These brochures were created with those questions and concerns in mind, with the hope to empower families with accessible information to better understand the intersection of these two systems.

El Programa de Justicia Criminal de UCLA Law y la Clínica Legal para Familias Inmigrantes se juntaron para producir un colección de folletos que ayudaran a las familias inmigrantes a comprender cómo ayudar si su ser querido (adulto o menor) es arrestado y está pasando por el sistema legal juvenil o penal. A través del trabajo de la Clínica Legal para Familias Inmigrantes, se hizo claro que las familias tenían preguntas, temores y ansiedades cuando un ser querido fue arrestado. Estos folletos fueron creados con esas preguntas y dudas o inquetudes en mente, con la esperanza de poder empoderar a las familias con información accesible para comprender mejor la intersección de estos dos sistemas.

2022-23 Pretrial Justice Fellow

Isabelle GeczyIsabelle Geczy ‘22 is the inaugural Pretrial Justice Fellow, jointly hosted by the Criminal Justice Program and The Bail Project. Prior to this role, Isabelle spent her time in law school fighting mass incarceration, orchestrating mutual aid and volunteer efforts, and learning to wield the law to defend civil rights. As a researcher for the UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project, Isabelle further uncovered the failures of geriatric parole reform measures in Nevada. She also served as the Chief Articles Editor of the UCLA Law Review. Prior to law school, Isabelle was an organizer at Greenpeace USA for over three years, where she built support for campaigns combatting the causes of climate change. Isabelle received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law, graduating with a specialization in Public Interest Law and Policy. She received her B.A. from UC Santa Barbara, graduating magna cum laude

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