The Second Judicial District Court Pretrial Services Division has been actively working on significant reform initiatives which streamline current processes and incorporate evidence-based decision making into the pretrial stage of the judicial process. On September 1, 2016, the Nevada Pretrial Risk Assessment (NPR) was successfully implemented in all seven courts within Washoe County. Upon arrest, all defendants facing new charges are screened with this tool, which identifies the defendant's risk of failing to appear at a future court proceeding and for committing a future crime.
The second phase of the reform effort, which revolves around judicially imposed money bail, is tentatively set to begin on November 1, 2016. Arresting agencies in Washoe County have agreed to provide the necessary information more quickly so that a judge can review all information within 24-hours to determine whether to impose money bail or release the defendant with community supervision.
This major initiative would not be possible without the collaboration of all local courts and arresting agencies. Through all stakeholders' efforts, Pretrial Services will be able to recommend release based upon risk rather than an individual's ability to pay; thus, comporting with constitutional requirements and ensuring a safer community.
Pretrial Services reports directly to District Court, Reno Justice Court, Sparks Justice Court, Incline Village Justice Court, Wadsworth Justice Court, Reno Municipal Court and Sparks Municipal Court. There are two Pretrial teams; one to assess release and the other to supervise defendants. The mission statement is as follows:
Pretrial Services operates on the constitutional presumption of innocence, the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies Pretrial Standards, and approved court orders. Using the most recent, evidence-based practices, the Assessment Pretrial team provides timely, unbiased reports to the presiding judicial authority so he/she can make sound release decisions for qualified defendants, allowing them to maintain life commitments while out of custody. If release is granted, the Supervision Pretrial team ensures these defendants abide by the least restrictive conditions that have been imposed by the court, with the goal of reducing failure-to-appear rates and re-offense.