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Pretrial Release Advocacy Project: Reducing Unnecessary Pretrial Confinement Through Effective Defense Representation

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $224,469)

The Encouraging Innovation: Field-Initiated (FI) Program is funded under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (42 U.S.C. 3751(a) et seq.), the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to state, local and tribal jurisdiction. It is designed to prevent and reduce crime and enhance the criminal justice system through collaboration with the field to identify, define, and respond to emerging or chronic crime problems and systemic issues. The FI Program furthers the Department's mission by trying new approaches, addressing gaps in responses, building or translating research knowledge, or building capacity to address the issues that bring fresh perspectives and ideas to enhance practices and prevent crime in the field.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) will address the systemic challenge of unnecessary pretrial confinement. Inmates awaiting trial comprise the majority of local jail populations and may account for half or more of local corrections costs. The effective representation of counsel at bail hearings has a proven impact on the ability of defendants to obtain pretrial release. The proposed grant project seeks to adapt and replicate a successful model, developed by the Kentucky public defender system, for enhancing pretrial release advocacy. The NACDL will document the project through pretrial release statistics and qualitative reporting. The training and technical assistance provided by the grantee will equip the defense bar with the resources necessary to effectively advocate for pretrial release.


Date Created: September 29, 2013