Implementation of the Public Safety Assessment in Monterey County, CA
Under its Advancing Pretrial Policy & Research (APPR) initiative, CEPP provides practitioners in Monterey County, California, with tailored training and technical assistance to help them successfully implement the Public Safety Assessment (PSA), with the goal of improving pretrial outcomes. CEPP also provides Monterey County access to the APPR Learning online workspace, a virtual learning space with relevant content and resources exclusively for the pretrial field.
Pretrial assessment helps identify who is likely to succeed on pretrial release. By making predictions based on several factors, we can provide an opportunity for interventions to help people attend court hearings and remain law-abiding during the pretrial period. CEPP and APPR’s dedicated staff work with Monterey County to ensure they have all the materials and have completed the groundwork needed to perform an actuarial pretrial assessment successfully.
CEPP trains the people who will score the PSA, criminal legal system stakeholders, and other relevant parties (virtually and on-site) on the purpose of pretrial assessment, actuarial tools, bias in pretrial assessment, why the PSA is unique, how to score PSA factors accurately, and other training as needed. CEPP also reviews Monterey County’s PSA scoring, quality assurance process, and performance data collection, and provides technical assistance and recommendations for improvement, as necessary.
During the pretrial phase, decisions are made quickly and often without much information. The PSA provides judicial officers with research-based information that they weigh, along with other information, to make more informed pretrial decisions. These decisions include what conditions, if any, will help the person succeed while on pretrial release.
When implemented responsibly and as part of comprehensive, systemic pretrial improvements, the PSA can help advance more fair and effective pretrial justice. With CEPP and APPR’s support, Monterey County:
- Increases the safe and efficient pretrial release of people who have been charged with or accused of a crime
- Reduces biases based on race, ethnicity, and gender in pretrial release decision making
- Implements appropriate services and supports for people released pretrial
- Reduces the rates of failure to appear in court and the associated warrants and pretrial release violations