11 counties test Indiana’s bail bond relief pilot program

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Officials in 11 Indiana counties are testing a risk-assessment program to determine whether people who have been arrested should be required to post bail while awaiting trial.

Porter County adult probation official Melanie Golumbeck says the pretrial release program that launched in March 2017 evaluates jail inmates’ ability to pay bail. The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that a judge then decides whether to reduce bond or free the defendant on their own recognizance.

The county has conducted 390 assessments so far this year.

Golumbeck says the assessment determines the likelihood that inmates will return to court for hearings or reoffend during the pretrial period.

The program is set to go statewide next year.

Porter County pretrial supervisor Douglas Lang says assessments usually occur within 24 hours of arrest.

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