At the recent International Community Corrections Association’s (ICCA) 50th anniversary conference in Cleveland, Ohio, Lisa Brooks, Michael Wilson, and Jesse Revicki conducted a presentation, Doing What Matters: Tools for Analyzing the Impact of Pretrial Interventions, on pretrial policies and practice changes. The pretrial system is complex. From arrest through case disposition, the variety of variables in the system make it difficult to predict the potential impact of any one policy of practice change.
In order to build a data-driven system, however, tools for analyzing impact are essential. The trio discussed tools and techniques available for assessing the pretrial system at baseline and modeling the impact of policy changes. This included new tools from the Crime and Justice Institute at CRJ for pretrial cost-benefit analysis and jail population projections. These tools, along with traditional evaluation methodologies, can provide abundant data on the public safety and fiscal impact of pretrial policies. Participants were able to take part in live demonstrations of the tools and participated in discussions of local applications. This information was beneficial for pretrial policy makers charged with systemic decisions and practitioners seeking to measure programmatic impact.