Maryland Morning
9:09 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Bail Reform Bills in the General Assembly

Credit Owen Byrne/flickr
Sheilah Kast talks about bail reform with WYPR statehouse reporter Chris Connelly and Maryland's head Public Defender Paul DeWolfe.

Several bills before the General Assembly would change how bail is set for those awaiting trial in Maryland. 

One measure would require the judicial system to use statistical models and a computerized risk assessment tool to figure out how likely a defendant is to show for trial, or to commit a crime before trial. If the computerized tool reports the defendant is likely to appear in court, the defendant would be released.    

Senator Brian Frosh, a Democrat from Montgomery County and chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee, is sponsoring the bill. 

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation developed the tool. In this interview, Anne Milgram, Vice-President of Criminal Justice for the Arnold Foundation, explains what factors are taken into account that determine a defendant's level of risk. She also explains how the tool is working in Kentucky.

 Sheilah Kast is joined in the studio by Paul DeWolfe, public defender for the state of Maryland and Chris Connelly, WYPR's State House Reporter.

Senator Frosh's bill, SB0973 "Criminal Procedure-Pretrial Confinement and Release" has a Senate hearing today. You can check the status here.