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Milwaukee County Chief Judge Maxine White, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, Wisconsin First Assistant State Public Defender Tom Reed
Since 2012 Milwaukee County has been utilizing an evidence-based risk tool to help guide bail decisions. Last year, as part of that effort, Milwaukee County became one of a small number of jurisdictions in the country using a new tool to help judges decide which defendants should be detained on cash bail prior to trial and which defendants should be released. The Public Safety Assessment, or PSA as it’s known, has been billed by some as one of the most significant criminal justice reform initiatives currently underway in the United States. Created by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the risk assessment tool is designed to provide judges with research-based, predictive information about the risk that a defendant released before trial will engage in violence, commit a new crime, or fail to return to court. The larger goal is to increase public safety, maximize court appearances, and insure the most efficient use of available jail and pretrial supervision resources. So how has this new approach worked in Milwaukee County to date? Join us as we discuss the reasons for the PSA initiative, its implementation, and its early results.