This week, the Daily Record reported on the recent publication of two studies that suggest that while Maryland’s new pretrial release rule decreased the use of cash bail, additional education and resources are needed.

One of the studies, published by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and funded by Open Society Institute, sent 64 volunteers to observe bail reviews in multiple jurisdictions last year as the rule went into effect July 1. The observers found inconsistent outcomes between jurisdictions and judges, which led to a series of recommendations to provide judges with more resources to encourage release, risk assessment tools, education for judges and the community, and bringing defendants into the courtroom rather than relying on video conferencing at bail reviews.

The other study, funded by the Prince George’s County and Baltimore City NAACP chapters and conducted by graduate students from the Princeton University School of Public Health and International Affairs, made similar recommendations, though their methodology of analyzing court date differed from the first study.

Posted in Baltimore Justice Report