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PRINTER'S NO. 1288
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1092
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY McCLINTON, BULLOCK, YOUNGBLOOD, KINSEY, SOLOMON,
V. BROWN, READSHAW, PASHINSKI, MADDEN AND COX, APRIL 7, 2017
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, APRIL 7, 2017
AN ACT
Authorizing eligible counties to establish pretrial service
programs; providing for bail and detention prior to trial;
and imposing powers and duties on the Pennsylvania Commission
on Crime and Delinquency.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1. Preliminary Provisions
Section 101. Short title.
Section 102. Legislative intent.
Section 103. Definitions.
Chapter 3. Pretrial Service Programs
Section 301. Authorization.
Section 302. Risk assessment.
Section 303. Pretrial diversion.
Section 304. Judicial review.
Chapter 5. Bail and Detention Prior to Trial
Section 501. Monetary bail.
Section 502. Nonmonetary bail.
Section 503. Penalties.
Section 504. Right to counsel.
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Chapter 7. Administrative Provisions
Section 701. Commission.
Section 702. Funding and audits.
Section 703. Prohibitions.
Section 704. Continued eligibility.
Chapter 9. Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 901. Training.
Section 902. Annual report.
Section 903. Effective date.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
CHAPTER 1
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
Section 101. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Pilot
Pretrial Reform Act.
Section 102. Legislative intent.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The establishment of a pretrial service program
improves public safety, reduces corrections costs and
produces more effective outcomes for the betterment of the
community.
(2) There is a need for neutral, fact-driven entities to
provide accurate and timely information to assist courts in
making informed decisions regarding bond, competency and
treatment options.
(3) Many individuals imprisoned in correctional
institutions in this Commonwealth are simply awaiting trial
and have not been convicted of a crime.
(4) Indigent defendants remaining imprisoned due to an
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inability to fulfill financial bail conditions present an
unnecessary financial burden to taxpayers.
(5) Excessive bail practices and unnecessary detention
also present constitutional concerns to the citizens of this
Commonwealth.
Section 103. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission." The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Delinquency.
"Correctional institution." As defined in 61 Pa.C.S. ยง 102
(relating to definitions).
"Eligible county." A county of the first class, second
class, second class A or third class.
"Nonprofit program." A not-for-profit human service
organization that provides treatment, guidance, counseling,
training or rehabilitation services to individuals, families or
groups.
"Participating county." An eligible county that establishes
a pretrial service program.
"Program." A pretrial service program established by a
participating county under this act.
"Released individual." An individual who is charged with a
criminal offense and released from custody by a county prior to
trial or adjudication.
CHAPTER 3
PRETRIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS
Section 301. Authorization.
(a) General rule.--An eligible county may establish and
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operate a pretrial service program within an appropriate
department or system as designated by the county.
(b) Purpose.--A program shall be developed, implemented and
operated for the following purposes:
(1) To protect society and promote efficiency and ensure
equity during arraignment and bail determination.
(2) To provide evidence-based bail recommendations to
judicial officers that assess an offender's risk to public
safety and likelihood to appear in court if released pending
trial.
(3) To provide opportunities for defendants who
demonstrate special needs to receive services that enhance
their ability to become contributing members of the
community.
(c) Responsibilities.--A program shall:
(1) Conduct preliminary investigation and risk
assessment on all defendants arrested on new charges.
(2) Present accurate information to a judicial officer
related to a defendant's risk of failing to appear in court
or potential threats to the safety of the community.
(3) Develop and provide appropriate and effective
supervision for all individuals released to the program.
(4) Develop a procedure for the supervision of released
individuals, which may include, but not be limited to,
halfway houses, addiction treatment centers and counseling
services, sufficient to respond to the risks and problems
associated with released defendants.
(5) Monitor the compliance of released individuals with
the requirements of assigned release conditions and develop
relationships with alternative programs such as problem
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solving programs or mental health support systems.
(6) Inform the court of apparent violations of pretrial
release conditions or arrests of released individuals pending
trial and recommend modification of release conditions.
(7) Review the status of detained individuals on an
ongoing basis for changes in eligibility for release options.
(8) Utilize an accurate information management system to
support the use of a risk assessment, release conditions,
selection, compliance monitoring, detention review functions
and data analysis.
(9) Refer conditionally released individuals to sources
that may increase the likelihood of compliance with
conditions and decrease a likelihood of rearrests, including,
but not limited to, employment or housing programs, medical,
drug, mental or other health treatment or legal or other
needed services.
(10) Remind released individuals of their court dates.
Section 302. Risk assessments.
(a) Duty to develop.--A participating county shall develop
or adopt a validated risk assessment.
(b) Purpose.--In all cases where a defendant is in custody
and charged with a criminal offense, the program shall conduct
an investigation for the following purposes:
(1) To assess whether the defendant is low risk,
moderate risk or high risk for failing to appear in court or
posing potential danger to the community.
(2) To collect information which may be crucial to
determine a defendant's risk to flee.
(3) To collect information that may be crucial to
determine a defendant's risk to the safety of the community.
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(4) To devise a comprehensive report to be reviewed by
the court when setting bail.
(c) Interview process.--An individual who is arrested in a
participating county shall be offered a pretrial interview,
unless the validated pretrial risk assessment tool can be
completed without an interview. If the individual does not
refuse the pretrial interview, the program shall question the
individual. Following the interview, the program shall prepare a
comprehensive risk assessment report with recommendations on
conditions of release, if needed.
(d) Information to be provided.--If the validated risk
assessment requires an interview, the interviewer shall inform
the defendant, prior to the interview and an investigation or
collection, that:
(1) All risk assessment interviews are voluntary.
(2) Penalties may be imposed for providing false
information during interviews.
(3) Risk assessments are intended solely to assist in
determining pretrial release options for defendants.
(4) Information discovered and considered in formulating
recommendations to the court will be provided to the judicial
officer.
(5) Information obtained from or concerning the
defendant by a pretrial program shall be disclosed only to
the defendant, counsel for the defendant, the issuing
authority or judge setting bail, the attorney for the
Commonwealth and the county's department of probation and
parole preparing a presentence report regarding the
defendant. The information shall not be disclosed or used
except for the purposes relating to the defendant's bail or
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presentence report about the defendant, or in a prosecution
based on the falsity of the information, or for impeachment
purposes to the extent permitted by law.
(6) Interviewers and other staff members of the program
are not exempt from subpoena and there should be no
expectation of privacy or privileged information.
(e) Investigatory focus.--Program investigations shall focus
on assembling reliable and objective information relevant to
determining release options. Risk assessment interviews shall
exclude questions relating to the events or details of the
current charge but may consider:
(1) The nature of circumstances of the charge, when
relevant to release conditions.
(2) Character, physical or mental condition, family
ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in
community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to
drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history and record concerning
appearance at court proceedings.
(3) Whether, at the time of the current offense or
arrest, the defendant is currently on probation or parole or
on other release pending trial.
(4) The availability of persons who agree to assist the
defendant attending court.
(5) Information voluntarily provided by the defendant.
(6) Facts justifying a concern that the defendant will
fail to attend court or pose a threat to the community.
(7) Factors that may demonstrate the defendant's
eligibility for conditional release, diversion or alternate
adjudication release options.
(f) Right of refusal.--Risk assessment interviews shall be
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voluntary. An individual has a right to refuse questioning
during the interview.
(g) No unnecessary delay in process.--The program shall make
a pretrial release recommendation for all defendants arrested on
new charges without unnecessary delay.
(h) Assessment report.--The program shall provide an in-
depth assessment report to be given to judges as prescribed by
statute. The report shall include the risk assessment and
additional relevant background information that was considered,
including, but not limited to:
(1) Ability to confirm identity.
(2) Information provided by the defendant.
(3) Nature of the charge.
(4) History of failure to report or appear in court.
(5) Criminal history.
(6) Information contained in pretrial supervision
records.
(7) Information provided by references regarding drug
use, mental health or additional relevant information.
(8) Miscellaneous information that was collected,
considered and could aid in the determination of the most
effective release decision.
Section 303. Pretrial diversion.
(a) Establishment.--The program may develop, expand or
participate in diversionary options that provide alternatives to
criminal charge with the intent to effectively avert individuals
into programs that produce beneficial results for the individual
and the community.
(b) Recommendations.--Program interviewers may, through the
risk assessment process, make recommendations about efficient
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release options that may incorporate direct referrals of
diversionary suggestions, including, but not limited to:
(1) Mental health services.
(2) Drug and alcohol rehabilitation or treatment.
(3) Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.
(4) Specialty courts.
(5) Anger management and other counseling.
(6) Additional human service agencies.
(c) Diversionary resources.--A participating county may work
with public or nonprofit organizations to develop or enhance
diversionary services.
(d) Eligibility.--Defendants may be eligible to enroll in a
diversionary program based on the recommendation of the
assessment report or the judicial officer.
Section 304. Judicial review.
(a) Risk assessment report.--The court in a participating
county shall review the program's risk assessment report and
recommendations on the least restrictive conditions of release
prior to a pretrial release decision for an eligible defendant.
(b) Least restrictive conditions.--
(1) When determining a bail decision, the judicial
officer shall impose the least restrictive conditions that
will reasonably ensure a defendant's attendance at future
court proceedings and enhance public safety.
(2) In order to determine whether to release a defendant
and what conditions, if any, to impose, the bail authority
shall consider all available information as that information
is relevant to the defendant's appearance or nonappearance at
subsequent proceedings, or compliance or noncompliance with
the conditions of the bail bond, including information about:
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(i) The nature of the offense charged and any
mitigating or aggravating factors that may bear upon the
likelihood of conviction and possible penalty.
(ii) The defendant's employment status and history
and financial condition.
(iii) The nature of the defendant's family
relationships.
(iv) The length and nature of the defendant's
residence in the community and any past residences.
(v) The defendant's age, character, reputation,
mental condition and whether addicted to alcohol or
drugs.
(vi) If the defendant has previously been released
on bail, whether he or she appeared as required and
complied with the bail conditions.
(vii) Whether the defendant has a record of flight
to avoid arrest or prosecution or of escape or attempted
escape.
(viii) The defendant's prior criminal record.
(ix) Use of false identification.
(x) Other factors relevant to whether the defendant
will appear as required and comply with the bail
conditions.
(3) The decision of a defendant not to admit culpability
or not to assist in an investigation shall not be a reason to
impose additional or more restrictive conditions of bail on
the defendant.
CHAPTER 5
BAIL AND DETENTION PRIOR TO TRIAL
Section 501. Monetary bail.
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(a) General rule.--If bail is set under Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 520
(relating to bail before verdict), the defendant shall be
eligible for the types of release on bail as specified in this
section. The bail authority, after considering the release
criteria in Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 523 (relating to release criteria),
shall determine the type or combination of types of release on
bail reasonably necessary, in the bail authority's discretion,
to ensure that the defendant will appear at all subsequent
proceedings and comply with the conditions of the bail bond.
(b) Condition.--All of the types of release in subsection
(c) shall be conditioned upon the defendant's written agreement
to appear and to comply with the conditions of the bail bond
specified in Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 526(A) (relating to conditions of
bail bond).
(c) Types.--Types of release on bail are as follows:
(1) Release on recognizance. Release shall be
conditioned upon the defendant's written agreement to appear
when required and to comply with the conditions of the bail
bond in Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 526(A).
(2) Release on nonmonetary conditions. Release shall be
conditioned upon the defendant's agreement to comply with
nonmonetary conditions, as specified in Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 527
(relating to nonmonetary conditions of release on bail),
which the bail authority determines are reasonably necessary
to ensure the defendant's appearance and compliance with the
conditions of the bail bond.
(3) Release on unsecured bail bond. Release shall be
conditioned upon the defendant's written agreement to be
liable for a fixed sum of money if the defendant fails to
appear as required or fails to comply with the conditions of
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the bail bond. No money or other form of security may be
required.
(4) Release on nominal bail. Release shall be
conditioned upon the defendant's depositing a nominal amount
of cash which the bail authority determines is sufficient
security for the defendant's release and the agreement of a
designated person, organization or bail agency to act as
surety for the defendant. A nominal amount may be $1.
(5) Release on a monetary condition. Release shall be
conditioned upon the defendant's compliance with a monetary
condition imposed under Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 528 (relating to
monetary condition of release on bail). The amount of the
monetary condition shall not be greater than necessary to
reasonably ensure the defendant's appearance and compliance
with the conditions of the bail bond.
(d) Detention.--
(1) When a judicial officer finds no conditions of
release are sufficient to accomplish the aims of pretrial
release, a defendant may be held without bail.
(2) If a defendant is considered high risk and the only
reasonable disposition is detention without bail, the court
shall require an accelerated trial.
(3) If a defendant is detained prior to trial,
disposition may not prejudice the defendant at the time of
trial or sentencing. In the case of a jury trial, the court
shall ensure that the jury is unaware of the defendant's
detention.
(4) A convicted defendant shall be given credit against
both a maximum and minimum term or a determinate sentence for
all time spent in custody as a result of criminal charges for
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which sentence of imprisonment is imposed.
(5) A defendant detained pending adjudication shall be
confined in a separate part of a facility from convicted
persons awaiting sentencing or serving sentences. The
restrictions on the defendant may not be more limited than
for convicted persons.
(6) A defendant detained shall be provided with adequate
means to assist in the defendant's own defense. This
requirement may include the following:
(i) Reasonable telephone rates.
(ii) Unmonitored telephone access to the defendant's
attorney.
(iii) A law library.
(iv) A space for unmonitored meetings with the
defendant's attorney.
Section 502. Nonmonetary bail.
(a) Elimination option.--The decision to eliminate monetary
bail conditions shall be determined by the president judge of
each participating county. The president judge may consider the
efficiency of the monetary bail systems operating within the
county. If the president judge chooses to preserve a monetary
bail system, adjudications shall coincide with least restrictive
conditions specified in this section.
(b) Development of alternatives.--A participating county
shall develop, test, validate and refine nonmonetary conditions
for release which shall correspond with the risk assessment
implemented by the participating county.
(c) Nonmonetary conditions.--The court shall impose the
least restrictive of release conditions reasonably necessary to
ensure the defendant's appearance in court, to protect the
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safety of the community or any person and to safeguard the
integrity of the judicial process. Options include, but are not
limited to:
(1) Releasing the defendant to the supervision of the
program or requiring the defendant to report on a regular
basis.
(2) Releasing of the defendant into the custody or care
of some other qualified organization or person responsible
for supervising the defendant and assisting the defendant in
making court appearances. The supervisor shall maintain close
contact with the defendant, to assist the defendant in making
arrangements to appear in court and, when appropriate,
accompany the defendant to court. The supervisor may not be
financially responsible for the defendant to forfeit money in
the event the defendant fails to appear in court. The
supervisor should promptly report a defendant's failure to
comply with release conditions.
(3) Imposing reasonable restrictions on the activities,
movements, associations and residences of the defendant.
(4) Prohibiting the defendant from possessing dangerous
weapons and ordering the defendant to immediately turn over
all firearms and other dangerous weapons in the defendant's
possession or control to a program or responsible third party
designated by the court and prohibiting the defendant from
engaging in certain prescribed activities or using
intoxicating liquors or certain drugs.
(5) Imposing conditional release of the defendant
pending participation in a diversionary or alternative
problem solving program.
(6) Requiring the defendant to return to custody for
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specified hours following release for employment, schooling
or other limited purposes.
(7) Requiring the defendant to be released on electronic
monitoring, to be placed under house arrest, to be evaluated
for substance abuse, to undergo regular drug testing, to be
screened for eligibility for drug court or other drug
treatment program, to undergo mental health or physical
health screening for treatment, to participate in appropriate
treatment or supervision programs or to be subject to other
release options or conditions as may be reasonably necessary
to ensure attendance in court, prevent risk of crime and
protect the community or any person during the pretrial
period.
(8) Imposing other reasonable restrictions designed to
ensure the defendant's appearance, to protect the safety of
the community or any person and to prevent intimidation of
witnesses or interference with the orderly administration of
justice.
(d) Notice to victims.--
(1) Each participating county shall ensure that victims
and witnesses are informed by the appropriate agent whenever
the defendant is confined or released or other changes occur
in the defendant's status that may be germane to the safety
of the community or of any person.
(2) Victims and witnesses shall be afforded readily
accessible means to inform the court, through the appropriate
agent.
Section 503. Penalties.
A defendant who willfully fails to appear or is arrested for
an additional crime during release may be subject to penalties
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at the discretion of the judicial officer, including:
(1) contempt by the court with a detainment sentence of
up to five days;
(2) cash bail, if permitted by the county;
(3) complete revocation of release; or
(4) other measures deemed necessary to ensure the
defendant's appearance or to ensure the safety of the
community.
Section 504. Right to counsel.
(a) General rule.--An individual who is to be arraigned
shall be provided with an option for suitable representation
prior to the arraignment or pretrial detention hearing.
(b) Access to assessment.--In a participating county,
counsel for a defendant shall be provided information enclosed
in the assessment report provided by the program prior to
arraignment.
(c) Appeal.--A defendant not granted least restrictive
conditions may immediately appeal the bail determination.
CHAPTER 7
ADMINISTATIVE PROVISIONS
Section 701. Commission.
Subject to the availability of funds, the commission shall
make grants available to the courts to assist in the
establishment or enhancement of pretrial service or diversion
programs in each judicial district within an eligible county. To
the extent that funds are available, the commission may:
(1) Identify sources of funding for pretrial service or
diversion programs and their related services, including the
availability of grants.
(2) Provide coordination and technical assistance for
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grant applications.
(3) Develop, in conjunction with the Administrative
Office of Pennsylvania Courts, model guidelines for the
administration of pretrial service or diversion programs and
their related services.
(4) For pretrial service or diversion programs and
related services funded by the commission, establish
procedures for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of
pretrial service or diversion programs and their related
services.
Section 702. Funding and audits.
(a) Eligibility.--Subject to the availability of funding,
participating counties with approved plans shall be eligible for
direct funding determined by the commission to support the cost
of programs.
(b) Alternative funding.--The commission may solicit and
accept alternative funding, including Federal funds, grants and
donations from any source whatsoever to assist with the
administration of this act. All money received by the department
to improve, enhance and expand programs shall be deposited into
a restricted account within the General Fund.
(c) Audit.--Annual reports and all financial records shall
be subject to annual audit by the Auditor General.
Section 703. Prohibitions.
(a) General rule.--Recipients may not use funds granted
under this chapter to supplant existing funds from the State or
local government for the construction, renovation or general
operation of a correctional institution.
(b) Administrative costs.--Administrative costs connected
with the expenditure of funds under this act may not exceed a
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percentage amount established by the commission.
Section 704. Continued eligibility.
(a) Evaluation.--In order to remain eligible for continued
grant funding, a participating county shall comply with
commission standards and regulations and participate in an
evaluation to determine program effectiveness. The form of the
evaluation shall be determined by the commission.
(b) Suspension of funding.--
(1) If the commission determines that there are
reasonable grounds to believe that a participating county is
not complying with its plan, minimum standards or the
provisions of this act, the commission shall give 30 days'
written notice to the participating county.
(2) If the commission finds noncompliance, it shall
require the participating county to provide a written
agreement as to how and when the specific deficiencies
identified will be corrected.
(3) If no agreement is submitted to the commission
within the time limit or if the deficiencies are not
corrected within 45 days after an agreement has been approved
by the commission, the commission may suspend part or all of
the funding to the participating county until compliance is
achieved.
CHAPTER 9
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Section 901. Training.
The following apply:
(1) Training specific to a participating county's
established program and risk assessment model shall include
the purpose and goals of the program and model, how to read a
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risk assessment and other information regarding the program
deemed necessary by the program.
(2) Judges, magisterial district judges, legal
counselors, bail bondsmen and all staff crucially involved in
the pretrial process shall complete training within six
months of the establishment of the participating county's
program.
(3) Nonessential support staff who may benefit from the
informational session may be offered the opportunity to
participate in training.
Section 902. Annual report.
A participating county shall submit an annual report to the
General Assembly by January 1 describing the operation and
performance of the program, the effectiveness of pretrial
conditions, including failure to appear rates and reoffense on
release rates, information related to case processing and all
information deemed relevant by the participating county.
Section 903. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 90 days.
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18
19