- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans officials are touting a new assessment tool that judges will begin using this year to help determine whether to release a suspect prior to trial.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office and the state Supreme Court said Monday that the “Public Safety Assessment Tool” was developed by the nonprofit Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which includes bail reform among its initiatives.

Authorities said in news releases that judges and others involved in the criminal justice system were recently trained in how to use the tool.

It involves the assessment of nine risk factors to be considered as judges consider pre-trial release. They include the suspect’s age, the pending charge and prior misdemeanor or felony convictions.

Landrieu said the initiative is part of the city’s effort to reduce its jail population.

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