Pretrial services program bill clears another hurdle
"On any given day in Colorado, 13,000 Coloradans are in jail for pretrial detention," said Rep. Matt Soper, R-Delta, who introduced the bill with Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. "The average cost (to hold them in jail) is $100 a day .... That's our tax dollars that could be going elsewhere if we're able to introduce a pretrial services program that allows for the just and equitable release of a defendant who is not a threat to the community."
"The bill creates a presumption that defendants should be released with the least restrictive conditions possible, including without having to post cash bonds, unless they pose a substantial risk to the safety of a community or are less likely to appear in court when required."
"Under it, all counties and cities are required to develop their own pretrial programs, and it calls on the Judicial Branch to develop minimum standards in how they are to be operated, such as having to establish an assessment system to determine how much of a flight or safety risk a defendant poses. The bill also establishes a grant program to help pay for the programs, but will give priority to those counties that don't already have one."