Assessment of Pretrial Services in New York State
The New York Association of Pretrial Service Agencies (NYAPSA) and the New York City Criminal Justice Agency (CJA), in cooperation with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA) and with technical assistance support from the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, launched an effort in late 2012 to examine pretrial services utilization and practices in New York State and develop an action plan for improving practice statewide. This initiative included the development and administration of a detailed survey of probation department and community-based pretrial release program directors to gather detailed information on pretrial practices across the state; a brief survey of judges to gain insight into release decision-making; a series of focus groups with pretrial officials to translate survey findings into recommendations; and a statewide planning group to develop an action plan for improving pretrial services and increasing alignment with state standards for legal and evidence-based practice. Below are highlights from the survey and focus group findings. While they reflect only the opinions and experiences of those participating in the study, they provide the most comprehensive picture available of pretrial services and pretrial release decision-making across the State of New York.