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  • D.C. Judge Truman Morrison to speak on bail reform

    Nov 02, 2016 | Read More News
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    The public is invited to attend a community presentation with District of Columbia Judge Truman A. Morrison III, who will discuss pretrial justice issues, including bail practices. 

    MorrisonJudge Morrison’s talk will address the state of bail reform in the United States. He will also discuss the District of Columbia bail system, which uses resources to monitor released defendants (in lieu of requiring them to post money bail).

    When: Monday, November 7; 3 to 4:30 p.m.
    Where: Pima County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room; 130 W. Congress

    Morrison is a Senior Judge for the District of Columbia Superior Court, to which he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.  He also has been involved in judicial education for more than 25 years, and he has taught at George Washington and Catholic University law schools.  Since 2006, Judge Morrison has worked with jurisdictions and groups across the country on pretrial justice issues. 

    Among Morrison’s body of work was a presentation at a 2015 White House symposium on criminal justice titled “A Cycle of Incarceration: Prison, Debt, and Bail Practices.”

    Pima County has long sought innovative strategies to reduce unnecessary incarceration while ensuring public safety. 

    The County established a Pretrial Services Department in 1972. From 1987 through 1990 the office served as a pilot project for pretrial drug testing by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. In 1989 and 1992, the National Institute of Justice Pretrial Services designated the department an Enhanced Pretrial Services. Pima County Pretrial Services was one of just seven nationwide to receive the designation. 

    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge chose Pima County among just 10 jurisdictions across the country to receive funding to initiate justice reforms. 

    In April 2016, the County received $1.5 million from the Foundation to fund programs designed to reduce jail numbers by addressing the main drivers of the County’s jail population, including warrants for failure to appear on prior misdemeanor charges and low-level nonviolent offenses related to mental illness and substance abuse. 

    These strategies seek to safely reduce the average daily jail population by 17 percent, about 320 individuals, over three years while saving taxpayers about $2 million per year. Jail expenditures in Pima County total about $66 million a year.

    The County’s efforts to reduce jail populations have been supported by all the regional criminal justice actors, including the sheriff’s department, county attorney, public defender and health officials. 


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