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Rural Pretrial Services (From Pretrial Services Annual Journal, P 53-61, 1979, by D Alan Henry - See NCJ-69868)

NCJ Number
S F Wheeler
Date Published
9 pages
Kentucky's statewide system of pretrial release agencies in rural areas is the focus of this article which indicates that pretrial service agencies can prosper in rural areas when structured to answer specific needs.
Low funding levels in rural areas have limited the development of alternatives to traditional court processes such as bail reform. In Kentucky, inadequate funding is characterized by the fee system of compensation. Officials receive compensation based on a headcount of people processed. In 1976, however, Kentucky enacted a bail reform act which outlawed the practice of commercial surety bail. It further required that each trial court provide pretrial services, and a statewide pretrial services agency was established. The new agencies were staffed along the lines of the existing 56 judicial circuits. Pretrial staff are locally recruited, and local judges have an equal voice in hiring decisions. The agencies are thus decentralized to provide for maximum flexibility and responsiveness to local needs. Agency forms, eligibility requirements, and standard policies are applicable to every program in the State, and services are similar between urban and rural programs. A central staff coordinates all State programs. Survey data have indicated that pretrial release programs are productive and successful in rural areas as indicated by Kentucky's experience. Footnotes and a table accompany the article.


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