Since the 1970’s, Denver has utilized a Pretrial Services Program which has provided defendant information to the court for bond setting and varying levels of pretrial supervision. Within the last 10 years, there has been a focus on pretrial reform aided by the availability of extensive research in the pretrial field, a national movement towards more evidence-based decision making, and improved Colorado statutes around the administering of bail. In 2012, Denver implemented validated pretrial risk assessment using the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT) as well as a risk informed pretrial supervision model.
Pretrial Services remains committed to advancing a pretrial system that provides pretrial decisions that are equitable, fiscally responsible and data informed; they recognize the presumption of release and reasonably ensure appearance in court with a commitment to public safety.
The Denver criminal justice stakeholders acknowledge the following pretrial guiding principles:
1) Release and detain decisions for all defendants should be risk based, individualized and consider the safety and needs of the community. Release decisions shall be informed by a validated pretrial risk assessment.
2) Pretrial processes shall maintain the presumption of release, equality, justice and due process.
3) Pretrial risk can be lessened for some risk levels with the use of appropriate pretrial supervision conditions.
4) Pretrial system decisions should be research-based and evaluation based on continuing data outcome evaluation.
5) The collaboration of the stakeholders in the pretrial justice process is essential to establish system best practices.