Nevada County has developed a unique program to help alleviate impacts on the jail yet add accountability to defendants waiting to go to trial. The program allows for probation to supervise defendants that have been released on their own recognizance or in some instances have made bail but still need supervision.
Newell says that essentially the process allows the court to refer defendants to probation for a risk analysis. Is the person a risk to commit more crimes, a danger to the community, and a flight risk.
Newell says with AB 109 and now Prop 47 more people are being held in local jail pending adjudication and it can have an impact on the jail. Because bail cannot be used as punishment, the supervised pre-trial release provides some accountability.
The program leverages existing resources to implement the supervision.
Though it may add a charge to probation, it does allow the county to save money in the long run.
It costs less to supervise a defendant than it does to incarcerate the person. Currently there have not been a lot of inmates or defendants taking advantage of the program.
Newell says larger cities have implemented similar programs with success.
The most recent beneficiaries of this program are Phil Lester and Susan Laferte who are waiting to go to trial on fraud charges. The two defendants had to post bail in 2012 and again in 2013. When bail review came up again this year, the judge requested the defendants meet with probation. Probation completed the risk analysis and the Supervised OR Release was signed on December 9th.