Pretrial Improvements in Pitt County, North Carolina


Stakeholders in Pitt County, North Carolina, wanted to explore opportunities to improve their pretrial system. CEPP conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the system—analyzing available jail and court data—and made recommendations for improvements.

Our Approach

To evaluate Pitt County’s current pretrial system and make recommendations for possible pretrial improvements, CEPP:

  • Reviewed the county’s existing policies, procedures, and reports related to the current pretrial system (e.g., local pretrial release policies)
  • Completed on-site and off-site observations and interviews with criminal justice partners to identify strengths and opportunities for system improvement
  • Completed an on-site observation of arrest processing and first appearance hearings

In partnership with the University of North Carolina School of Government Criminal Justice Innovation Lab, CEPP developed metrics to aid in understanding the local pretrial data, including detention trends. CEPP also completed an assessment report and attended a Pitt County board meeting (virtually) to answer any questions based on the completed report.

The Impact

By analyzing existing policies and procedures and reviewing their local data with CEPP, Pitt County has begun to understand how its pretrial release policy affects the size of its jail population and can develop strategies to help inform future decision making to promote public safety and court appearance.