- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington county is planning to let low-risk defendants await trial outside of jail.

The Yakima Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1PochVe ) that the Yakima County criminal justice system will begin its pretrial release program in February.

The idea came from a 2012 report on the county’s criminal justice system that found defendants were spending too long in jail before trial. That could start a downward spiral for someone who loses a job while locked up and then has to surrender a car or house because of missed payments.

The new system is expected help the poorest defendants most. They can spend months in jail before trial simply because they can’t afford to post bail.

The program will focus on identifying defendants who can be released and monitored without posing security risk.



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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, https://www.yakimaherald.com

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