Orange County NC Website
1 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY <br /> BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT <br /> Meeting Date: March 2, 2021 <br /> Action Agenda <br /> Item No. 4-c <br /> SUBJECT: Presentation on Orange County Bail Reform Initiatives <br /> DEPARTMENT: Criminal Justice Resource <br /> ATTACHMENT(S): INFORMATION CONTACT: <br /> RES-2018-025 - Resolution in Support of Caitlin Fenhagen, 919-245-2303 <br /> 3DaysCount Judge Allen R. Baddour <br /> Report of the Orange County Pretrial Judge Samantha H. Cabe <br /> Working Group <br /> PowerPoint Presentation <br /> PURPOSE: To receive a presentation regarding the ongoing Bail Reform Initiatives in Orange <br /> County facilitated by Jessica Smith, W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Director of the <br /> Criminal Justice Innovation Lab at UNC's School of Government. <br /> BACKGROUND: In April 2018, the Orange County Board of Commissioners unanimously <br /> adopted a Resolution Supporting 3 Days Count—A Nationwide Effort to Make Communities Safer <br /> and Ensure Better Outcomes for All by Applying Common Sense Solutions to Widespread Pretrial <br /> Justice Challenges. The Resolution recognized that pretrial detention, even for a few days, is de- <br /> stabilizing to people's lives and can have severe consequences. The money bail system in North <br /> Carolina disproportionately impacts people of color and those with insufficient financial resources <br /> and does not adequately address true risk to the community. While Orange County has <br /> implemented many of the evidence-based best pretrial practices including an internalized Pretrial <br /> Services program in the Criminal Justice Resource Department (CJRD), the use of an empirical <br /> risk assessment tool, providing defense counsel at the first appearance, the increased use of pre- <br /> arrest diversion and citations in lieu of arrest, Orange County was still incarcerating individuals on <br /> secured bonds in the majority of cases. <br /> Since 2019, Orange County senior court stakeholders and the Criminal Justice Resource <br /> Department have collaborated to implement new bail reform initiatives that build on the efforts <br /> that have been underway here for many years. A Pretrial Work Group was established and led by <br /> Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Allen R. Baddour. In addition to court, law enforcement <br /> and pretrial services stakeholders, the Work Group includes Commissioner Renee Price and bail <br /> reform advocates in Orange County. The Work Group received funding from the County Manager, <br /> the CJRD and the District 18 Judicial Bar to contract with Professor Smith to facilitate the design <br /> and implementation of these new initiatives. The goal of the Working Group is to eliminate the <br /> unnecessary pretrial detention of individuals who do not present a significant risk but who are <br /> detained pretrial because they are unable to afford money bonds imposed in their cases. <br />