Criminal Rule 26 – New Rules For Bonding Out – Now In Effect

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Times Union Online on 1/1/2020 by Amanda Bridgman

New rules for bonding out of jail are in effect under Criminal Rule 26.

The Indiana Supreme Court signed CR 26 into law to take effect in all courts Jan. 1, 2020, after two years of pilot programs in 11 counties.

The rule is intended to improve pretrial practices in the state by encouraging trial judges to engage in evidence-based decision-making at the pretrial stage. It states:

“(A): If an arrestee does not present a substantial risk of flight or danger to self or others, the court should release the arrestee without money bail or surety subject to such restrictions and conditions as determined by the court except when: (1): The arrestee is charged with murder or treason. (2): The arrestee is on pre-trial release not related to the incident that is the basis for the present arrest. (3): The arrestee is on probation, parole or other community supervision.”

This part of the rule had some people thinking anyone going to jail now gets an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card. That is not the case.

“The bond schedule is still in place,” Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney Dan?Hampton said. “People will still get bonds.”

But for certain charges, and for people who can pass the risk assessment interview, a promise to come back to court is all that will be needed to get out of jail.

“(B): In determining whether an arrestee presents a substantial risk of flight or danger to self or other persons or to the public, the court should utilize the results of an evidence-based risk assessment approved by the Indiana Office of Court Services, and such other information as the court finds relevant. The court is not required to administer an assessment prior to releasing an arrestee if administering the assessment will delay the arrestee’s release.”

Kosciusko County Probation Department officers Tammy Johnston and Rene Osborn went to three days of training to be able to conduct the risk assessments. They were trained in using the Indiana Risk Assessment System – Pretrial Assessment Tool (IRAS-PAT) questionnaire, which consists of seven questions, with multiple-choice answers that are scored between 0 and 2 points. The score at the end is what a judge will use to determine the level of supervision required for the arrestee if they are released.

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