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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 81630 Find in a Library
Title: National Conference on Pretrial Release and Diversion Legislation
Author(s): W Thomas; H Gonzales
Project Director: N Robinson; R Greene; T Gavey
Date Published: Unknown
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 76-ED-99-0031
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This videotaped conference workshop discusses considerations to be made in drafting legislation on diversion programs and bail reform.
Abstract: An experience in the drafting of diversion legislation in California is briefly recounted with reference to the goals of the program, the legal pros and cons of diversion, the practical problems, and the political issues involved. In the California situation, the diversion bill that evolved sought to give existing programs in the State a legitimized existence following their pilot phase. It was a basic bill providing statutory authority for already established programs for a 2-year period, during which time data were to be gathered for rewriting legislation so as to provide more detail and more liberal provisions. It is hoped that the current clientele for diversion can be expanded from misdemeanants to nonviolent felons. Other items to be considered for inclusion in the draft are references to nonrequirement of the guilty plea, the right to due process hearing, and police discretion and involvement. Bail reform is discussed with special attention to the dominant alternative to the surety bond system -- the percent deposit bail system. This reform eliminates bondsmen altogether; it requires payment of a small, refundable percentage (10 percent in Illinois) of the total bail set. It is successfully used in Illinois and Oregon, and the Oregon statute is recommended as model. In Pennsylvania, an option is provided between posting bail bond or percent deposit. Issues raised in the discussion are the possibility of using bail revenue to finance pretrial release and monitoring the system to prevent abuse. Critics of the reform have argued that it is conducive to loan sharking and that it precludes collection of the full bail sum. Advocates for deposit bail legislation should obtain testimony from States where it is in use. For the final conference report, see NCJ 51935.
Index Term(s): Bail reform; California; Diversion programs; Family intervention programs; Illinois; Legislation; Pennsylvania
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Videotape, 65 minutes, color, 1 inch - The first 30 minutes contain sound but no picture. Conference held May 10-13, 1977, Arlington, Virginia.
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