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AMERICAN BAR

ASSOCIATION
CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SECTION

New York Task Force

Kin Wang Ng
Executive Assistant District Attorney
Lisa Schreibersdorf
Executive Director
Brooklyn Public Defender Services
Dawn Ryan
Attorney-in-Charge
The Legal Aid Society/Brooklyn Criminal
Division
Honorable George Grasso
Citywide Supervising Judge
Arraignments
Charlene Daniels
Principal Law Clerk to Judge Grasso
Lance Ogiste
Counsel to the District Attorney
Anne Swern
First Assistant to the District Attorney
Denise Wirsig
Project Coordinator
Brooklyn Defender Services
Justin Barry
Chief Clerk
Brooklyn Criminal Court
Susan Herman
Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative
Policing
Hiram Bell
Supervising Court Attorney
Delia Hunley-Adossa
88th Precinct Community Council
Daniel Alessandrino
Chief Clerk
Karen Armstrong
Kings County Assistant Commissioner
Kerry Ward
Principal Court Attorney to Honorable
Barry Kamins
Kenneth Thompson
District Attorney
Gregory Thomas
Executive Assistant to the DA
Leigh Anne Freeman
Probation Officer
William Bratton
Police Commissioner
Vincent Schiraldi
The Mayor's Office for Criminal Justice

The Racial Justice Improvement Project (RJIP) aims to


identify and reform policies and practices that produce
racial disparities in local criminal justice systems across
the country. By working with officials in state and local
criminal justice systems, RJIP attempts to address racial
disparities by developing and implementing evidencebased policy reforms throughout the adjudication process
where policies and practices have an adverse impact on
people of color.

St. Louis County, Minnesota Task Force


The St. Louis County, Minnesota Task Force (MTF) chose to address racial disparities in pre-trial detention
and bail-setting decisions as their reform. This decision was made after Dr. Robert Weidner conducted a
preliminary statistical analysis for the MTF which showed that people of color were disproportionately detained
during pre-trial, and that the courts in St. Louis County had a tendency to set higher bail amounts for defendants
of color.1 See Appendix C for Dr. Weidners 2011 report. The MTF began by working with judges and
probation officers involved in the arraignment process to both determine the reasons for racial disparity in pretrial detention and to identify how the disparity could be addressed. The MTF quickly turned to the tools being
utilized by the jurisdictions pre-trial unit, working to standardize both pre-trial decision-making and processes.
Through their reform efforts, the MTF implemented a new pre-trial release considerations checklist and a new
pre-trial release assessment tool, which were joined by the newly implemented pre-trial release specific
programming (such the Intensive Pre-Trial Release Program (IPTRP) and the Community Sanctions Program).
See Appendix F and Appendix G for copies of the assessment tool and considerations checklist. Finally, the
MTF provided pre-trial and implicit bias training to county judges and probation officers. See Appendix H and
Appendix T for training agendas.
These reform efforts quickly demonstrated success in addressing and reducing racial disparity in St. Louis
County. For instance, an evaluation interview of all judges who used the MTF-created pre-trial release
considerations checklist indicated that they found the checklist to be helpful in making pre-trial release
determinations.2 See Appendix L for Pilot Project Evaluation Report. Since late 2009, when the MTF began its
work, the number of defendants recommended for pre-trial release climbed by four percentage points, from
75% to 79%.3 In addition, based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the key stakeholders in the
jurisdiction, nearly every individual incarcerated on a felony charge was now to be screened for pre-trial
release.4 See Appendix E for the Memorandum of Understanding. These changes have resulted in an increase
in the overall number of people who are screened for pre-trial release, rising from 1,273 in 2010 to 1,415 in
2013.5 This agreement also resulted in an 11% increase in pre-trial releases from 2010 to 2013.6 In an evaluation
interview following pre-trial decision-making training, judges stated that they were now more likely to place
1 See Robert R. Weidner, Ph.D., Pretrial Detention & Release Decisions in St. Louis County, MN, in 2009 & 2010:
Interim Findings, (2011).
2 See Results for Judge Questionnaire (on file with author). Nine of twelve participating judges in the jurisdiction utilized
the pre-trial release considerations checklist.
3 See Inga James, St. Louis County, Minnesota Racial Justice Improvement Project: Pretrial Release Reform, 10 (2014).
4 See id.
5 See id. at 47.
6 See id. at 10.

defendants on supervised release.7 After only 9 months of pre-trial reform, reports showed that 141 people had
been released, and more than 10,000 days were spent on pre-trial release programs versus in jail, resulting in
$985,421.69 in jail savings.8 Moreover, there was a 6% decrease in the pre-trial jail population.9 See Appendix
O and Appendix P for the full reports from The St. Louis Intensive Pretrial Release and Community Sanctions
Program, respectively.
Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC), which provides pre-trial, corrections, and probation services to five
counties in northeastern Minnesota, including St. Louis County, reported that the chemical and mental health
needs of offenders were better addressed during pre-trial procedures and that over half of all participants were
active in seeking or maintaining employment.10
Evaluations conducted by Dr. Weidner demonstrated the following progress after MTF reform efforts11:

Disparity between whites and people of colors likelihood of receiving release on their own
recognizance (ROR) dissipated in the period after the implementation of the new pre-trial
assessment tool
The differences in pre-trial outcomes between racial categories in the period before reform were not
apparent in the period after reform
In the two full calendar years subsequent to the implementation of the new assessment instrument
(2013 and 2014), the percentage of pre-trial assessments recommended for pre-trial release increased
slightly
Instances of decreased disparity in bail amounts after the introduction of Intensive Pre-trial Release
Program
32.1% of program participants received support in the realms of employment and/or education and
24.5% received community-based treatment for chemical dependency or mental health issues (e.g.,
intensive day treatment)

See Appendix R for Dr. Weidners 2015 reform evaluation report.


The above results demonstrate that the MTF has made successful strides in reducing the racial inequality during
pre-trial considerations. They are currently working to expand their efforts by offering case management
through the Next Steps Program. See Appendix V and Appendix W for the RJIP Next Steps Proposal Plan and
potential Case Management participant brochure respectively.
7 See id. at 8.
8 See St. Louis County Public Safety Innovation Fund Report: Intensive Pre Trial Release Program 3 (on file).
9 See id. at 2, 6.
10 Id. at 8.
11 See Robert R. Weidner, Ph.D., Pretrial Release Decisions in St. Louis County, MN, 2009-2014: Examining the Effects
of Policy Changes (2015).

Passing the Torch


After the MTF finished its work to implement racial justice reform, the county continued to address racial
disparities in pretrial decision making through funding and policy changes. In 2013, St. Louis County provided
ARC with a grant for the expansion of pretrial release services. This financial support allowed pretrial clients to
be placed in an intensive pretrial release program rather than incarcerated.
Based on MTFs guidance and direction, the Arrowhead Regional Corrections of St. Louis County implemented
two additional programs on its own: Intensive Pretrial Release Program (IPTRP) and the Community Sanctions
Program (CSP). IPTRP targets individuals who would otherwise have been incarcerated without this pretrial
alternative, and allows them to continue working to support their families while also receiving employment,
educational, mental health, or chemical dependency services in their community. Arrowhead Corrections hired
two additional probation officers to monitor these offenders. CSP provides alternative sanctions to individuals
who have violated their conditions of probation. As a result of both of these programs, the use of jail beds for
pretrial defendants decreased significantly. In fact, IPTRP saved the St. Louis County Jail hundreds of
thousands of dollars from July 2013 to March 2014. Data also shows that after IPTRPs introduction in St.
Louis County, there was no longer a significant difference between the number of whites who receive ROR
versus persons of color who receive ROR. Additionally, after IPTRP, the median bail amount for whites and
persons of color in severe cases was identical. St. Louis Countys pretrial release programs came on the heels of
the work RJIP did to reduce recidivism and implement evidence-based practices. Expanding on the MTFs
methodology, St. Louis County has independently continued implementing racial justice reform.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PASSING THE TORCH2
SUMMARY OF ST. LOUIS TASK FORCE........................................................................6

GENERAL JURISDICTION INFORMATION...........................................................................................................6


BACKGROUND ON PROPOSED AREA OF REFORM.............................................................................................7
TASK FORCE REFORM GOALS...........................................................................................................................7
TASK FORCE MEMBERS.....................................................................................................................................9
IMPLEMENTATION.............................................................................................................................................10
TASK FORCE BUDGET......................................................................................................................................13
RESULTS................................................................................................................. 14

EVALUATION PLAN............................................................................................................................................14
DATA..................................................................................................................................................................16
EVALUATOR RECOMMENDATIONS...................................................................................................................19
PROJECT SUMMARY..........................................................................................................................................20
SUSTAINABILITY................................................................................................................................................21
PROVIDING CASE MANAGEMENT THROUGH THE NEXT STEPS PROGRAM..................................................21
APPENDICES............................................................................................................22

APPENDIX A: OCTOBER 2010 GRANT CONTRACT..........................................................................................22


APPENDIX B: 2011 GRANT CONTRACT ADDENDUM.......................................................................................27
APPENDIX C: DR. WEIDNER PRELIMINARY REPORT 2011............................................................................28
APPENDIX D: RJIP REFORM IMPLEMENTATION PLAN..................................................................................42
APPENDIX E: MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING.......................................................................................44
APPENDIX F: PRE-TRIAL RELEASE CONSIDERATIONS CHECKLIST..............................................................47
APPENDIX G: PRE-TRIAL RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL......................................................................................49
APPENDIX H: JULY 27TH 2012 PRETRIAL RELEASE TRAINING AGENDA........................................................52
APPENDIX I: JANUARY 7TH, 2013 TASK FORCE REPORT................................................................................54
APPENDIX J: ST. LOUIS COUNTY RISK ASSESSMENT PRESENTATION..........................................................58
APPENDIX K: PROJECT UPDATE MARCH 27, 2014.........................................................................................62
APPENDIX L: IJAY CONSULTING FINAL REPORT..........................................................................................64
APPENDIX M: DATA SET FOR PRE-TRIAL RELEASE DECISIONS...................................................................75
APPENDIX N: JUDGE QUESTIONNAIRE SET....................................................................................................78
APPENDIX O: ST. LOUIS COUNTY INTENSIVE PRE-TRIAL RELEASE PROGRAM..........................................79
APPENDIX P: ST. LOUIS COUNTY COMMUNITY SANCTIONS PROGRAM.......................................................86
APPENDIX Q: OCTOBER 10TH 2014 ANNUAL PRESENTATION UPDATE...........................................................90
APPENDIX R: DR. WEIDNER REPORT MARCH 2015......................................................................................93
APPENDIX S: FEBRUARY 15TH, 2015 TASK FORCE REPORT........................................................................111
APPENDIX T: APRIL 20TH-21ST SUMMIT AGENDA...........................................................................................118
APPENDIX U: MAY 2015 GRANT CONTRACT................................................................................................126
APPENDIX V: NEXT STEPS REFORM PROPOSAL...........................................................................................129
APPENDIX W: NEXT STEPS BROCHURE........................................................................................................131
APPENDIX X: JULY 2015 GRANT CONTRACT...............................................................................................133

SUMMARY OF ST. LOUIS TASK FORCE


GENERAL JURISDICTION INFORMATION
St. Louis County is the largest Minnesota county east of the Mississippi River and is part of the Sixth Judicial
District. It has a population of 226,000, with whites making up 93%, American Indians 2.2%, Blacks 1.4%, and
Hispanic/Latinos 1.2%.12 Despite having a relatively small population, St. Louis County has a large issue; racial
inequality in pre-trial release decisions. Pre-trial release has a long history in the United States, with the
Constitution, Supreme Court decisions, and federal statutes all addressing the role that bail should play in the
American criminal justice system.13 Questions have arisen regarding the potential conflict between pre-trial
detention and the presumption of innocence, the purpose of pre-trial detention, and which circumstances can
lawfully permit the denial of pre-trial release.14 These questions and their answers, however, often do not
comprehensively govern how states handle pre-trial detention and release.15
Under the Minnesota Constitution, there is a presumption of pre-trial release, with the exception of alleged
capital offenses.16 In order to determine appropriate conditions of release, the court must consider several
various factors, such as safety of the community, prior history of court appearances, and community ties.17 In
practice, however, not much of this information is actually known by the arraignment court judge when the bail
determination is made. The judge usually knows only the name of the arrestee, the current charge, and the
arrestees prior criminal history in the state of Minnesota.
While Minnesota law does limit bail for some charged offenses, these limits are calculated by multiplying the
maximum fine for the crime by a number established in state statute.18 This can sometimes lead to bail being set
at an amount so high that the accused cannot afford their own release. In addition, for some crimes, there are no
specific guidelines on the amount of bail that should be imposed.19 As a result, many defendants are held in jail
while awaiting trial because they cannot afford the bail imposed, and not necessarily because the court has
12 United States Census Bureau, St. Louis County, Minnesota (2013), available at
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/27/27137.html.
13 See Cynthia E. Jones, Give Us Free: Addressing Racial Disparities in Bail Determinations, 16 Legislation and
Public Policy 919, 925-27 (2013).
14 See id. at 925-29.
15 See id. at 929.
16 See Minn. Const. art. 1 7.
17 See Minn. R. Crim. P. 6.02.
18See Minn. R. 629.471 (2014).
19 Id.

sufficient information to determine that they are a flight risk or pose a threat to community safety. The problem
of over-incarceration of the pre-trial population is so severe that, for the last few years, St. Louis County has
spent approximately $1 million to house its detainees (most of whom are pre-trial) in jails in neighboring
counties in the state.
In response to this inequity, the MTF developed an agreement with the courts and Arrowhead Regional
Corrections regarding allocation of resources in ordering pre-trial assessments, as well as streamlining and
improving the use of the newly implemented pre-trial risk assessment tool.20 See Appendix G for the Task
Force developed Pretrial Risk Assessment tool.

BACKGROUND ON PROPOSED AREA OF REFORM


In 2011, under the direction of the RJIP task force, Dr. Weidner conducted a statistical analysis for the
Minnesota Task Force (MTF) showing that in St. Louis County, persons of color were detained
disproportionately during pretrial, and that the courts had a tendency to set higher bail amounts for defendants
of color.21 Initial data compiled and analyzed by Dr. Weidner revealed that whites were at least twice as likely as
other racial group members to be released on their own recognizance, and defendants of color were likely to
have bail set, even after accounting for offense severity level and number of felony charges.22 Even whites
arrested while on probation were twice as likely to be released on their own recognizance as were similarly
situated arrestees of color.23 To see a copy of Dr. Weidners data and findings, see Appendix C.
Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC), the jurisdictions pre-trial unit, provides correctional services to five
counties of Northeastern Minnesotas "Arrowhead" region. In 2012 the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) worked
with ARC to conduct analysis based on ARCs data, looking specifically at the new pre-trial assessment tool
that probation officers started using in 2011. This analysis showed that racial disparities in pre-trial
recommendations had actually increased since implementation of the new tool. PJI was able to identify areas of
concern in use of the new tool and further training needs for the probation officers. Based on PJIs
recommendations, the tool was reevaluated and this updated tool was later found to decrease racial disparities.
Given the observed racial inequity in pre-trial matters, the MTF chose to further target this area of the criminal
justice system for its reform efforts.

TASK FORCE REFORM GOALS


The St. Louis County Task Force set six goals to help address the inequity: 24
1. Provide implicit bias training for county judges and probation officers:
20 See Minnesota Task Force Memorandum of Understanding (on file with author).
21 Robert R. Weidner, Ph.D., Pretrial Detention & Release Decisions in St. Louis County, MN, in 2009 & 2010: Interim
Findings 5 (2011).
22 Id.
23 Id.
24 James, supra at 2.

Implicit bias by judges and probation officers can lead to disparities in detention rates and bail amounts.
Reducing this bias is the first step towards more equality in pre-trial detention rates and bail amounts imposed
on different ethnic groups. Much of this bias comes from a lack of awareness of the disparity and of policies
attempting to decrease this disparity on the part of judges and probation officers. By providing implicit bias
training to judges and probation officers, increasing the resources available for and quality of felony supervised
release studies, and implementing a valid pre-trial assessment tool, the MTF hopes that judges and probations
officers will have the knowledge necessary to make unbiased decisions regarding pre-trial detention and bail.
2. Create a policy to reduce the number of required supervised release reports to include all felonies
and gross misdemeanors:
The MTFs ultimate goal is for pre-trial release studies to be conducted for all felonies in the Sixth Judicial
District. The MTF suggested that the court orders supervised release studies for all defendants charged with an
offense calling for a presumptive stayed sentence under the Minnesota sentencing guidelines. The courts have
discretion to order supervised release (SR) studies for those people charged with crimes where being committed
is presumed or who have holds on them from other jurisdictions.
The MTF recommended that defendants charged with presumed stays should either be released on their own
recognizance or receive a SR study; and that SR studies and SR orders, to preserve resources, should be
substantially reduced for people facing gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors. Due to current resource and
staffing levels, ARC could not expand studies for felonies without reducing the number of studies done in other
areas. Under the terms of this plan, the parties agreed to increase the number of felony pre-trial release studies,
decrease the number of pre-trial release studies for misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, and eliminate pretrial release studies for petty misdemeanors, which can all occur without compromising community safety
Intensive pre-trial community supervision of offenders who were initially rejected for pre-trial release will be
provided under a new ARC program, Intensive Pre-trial Release (IPTRP), inspired in part by the work of the
MTF. Two additional probation officers were hired to closely supervise these higher risk offenders, using
electronic monitoring services as needed. Close supervision of offenders who have violated their conditions of
probation and are at imminent risk of being incarcerated is also being provided. Instead of being incarcerated,
offenders are able to remain in the community under closer supervision, maintaining their employment or
education, supporting their families, and receiving community-based services. During the first six months of the
program, more than 50 clients were placed on IPTRP, saving more than 1,500 jail days and more than $175,000
in jail costs. The program has been successful in saving jail costs, drastically reducing jail overcrowding, and
allowing pre-trial offenders to remain in the community.
3. Validate the new risk assessment tool, through a qualified expert:
According to MTF reports, judges are very deferential to the release/detention recommendations of the
probation officers, and if probation officers do not recommend supervised release, that recommendation is
generally honored by the court.25 During the early stages of the MTF, the courts began using the new pre-trial
assessment tool to help determine whether a defendant was to be released on own recognizance, released under
supervision, or detained in a local jail. The assessment tool was developed to standardize the way in which
courts looked at these defendants, in the hopes that it would reduce bias in the courts decisions and lead to
more efficient outcomes. The Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) reviewed the pre-trial risk assessment tool and
provided some recommendations to ARC regarding best practices and ways to obtain the most benefits from the
25 Jones, supra at 950.

risk assessment tool. ARC implemented all changes suggested by the PJI and currently uses the PJI-updated
Pre-trial Risk Assessment Tool.
Biases may also become apparent in who receives a pre-trial release study conducted by ARC. Because of this
additional potential layer of bias, the MTF began looking for ways to standardize decisions regarding receipt of
pre-trial release studies, and thus reduce bias in that part. Thus, prong 1 was put in place.
To see a copy of the new Pre-Trial Risk Assessment Tool, see Appendix G.
4. Provide training to probation officers about use of pre-trial risk assessment tool and to judges about
pre-trial decision-making:
The MTF sought to provide probation officers with training on the pre-trial risk assessment tool and the
importance of pre-trial best practices, in hopes of influencing the rates at which they recommended supervised
release. All 16 Sixth Judicial District judges were initially interviewed to determine training needs and bail
considerations. The judges believed that training would be beneficial to them for pre-trial decision-making in
areas such as: setting bail; release or detention of offenders charged with felonies; and options available at
arraignment consistent with the principles of the presumption of innocence, the protection of public safety,
and the need to assure that offenders will appear in court.
5. Create a mechanism to facilitate fair and equitable pre-trial decisions:
A comprehensive method to enable judges to make more fair and equitable decisions when setting bail and
other conditions of pre-trial release was created. Once the Memorandum of Understanding with ARC was
approved, members of the MTF met with judges individually to ensure mutual understanding of what the
agreement meant and how it was to be carried out. These meeting with the judges were in part meant to garner
input from the judges regarding an appropriate checklist, operating under Rule 6.02 of the Minnesota Criminal
Procedure, which can be used to help judges determine when to order pre-trial release studies.26 Rule 6.02 states
that in making bond decisions, the court should consider factors such as community safety, the nature and
circumstances of the offense, family ties, employment, financial resources, location of residence, prior criminal
convictions, and prior history of appearing in court.27 In practice, however, not much of this information is
actually known by the arraignment court judge when the bail determination is made.
A comprehensive checklist in laminated form was created and placed on the bench of all judges, as well as on
the desktop of their computers. After the implementation of the checklist, judges were surveyed about their pretrial decision making process. Both the interviews and questionnaire focused on what factors were used in the
judges pre-trial decision making. Additionally, the post-checklist questionnaire asked about perceived need for
training.
To see a copy of the new Pre-Trial Release Considerations Checklist, see Appendix F.
6. Offer Case Management through Next Steps Program:

26 See Minn. R. Crim. P. 6.02.


27 See id.

The MTF hopes to expand the scope of its reform by now extending resources to defendants released on
probation or through completion of programs such as IPTRP and Community Sanctions Programs. The MTF
hopes to offer case management to at-risk defendants through the Next Steps Program. The goal of the Next
Steps Program, offered through the State of Minnesota Office of the Sixth Judicial District Public Defender, is
to aid clients in successfully adhering to the terms of their probationary sentence by providing information and
referral services appropriate to their specific needs and goals. Program participants will be aided by community
partners and administrative attorneys to identify, connect with, understand, and effectively make use of local
and regional community programs and resources.
The MTF hopes to offer a pilot for 30 participants who are now sentenced and previously released on pre-trial
release programs. These participants, now post-sentencing, would receive intensive case management for a 6
month period, with the goals of getting participants access to and coverage under health insurance, reducing jail
days, reducing probation violations, increasing sobriety, and aiding participants in addressing chemical and
metal health needs. The participants will all be chosen from a high risk and high needs pool.
To see the brochure for the Next Steps program, see Appendix W. See Appendix X for the July Contract for this
next phase.

TASK FORCE MEMBERS


The makeup of the MTF has changed since its inception. The first group to go to
Washington, DC and receive in-depth training on racial justice reform included Assistant
County Attorney Leslie Beiers, Chief Public Defender Fred Friedman, the Honorable John
DeSanto, Deputy Chief of Police Robin Roeser, Donna, and Rebecca St. George. After the
initial meeting in Washington, when the MTF decided to focus on pre-trial decisionmaking, the group invited a representative of Arrowhead Regional Corrections to join. At
that time, the executive director was on the verge of retiring; the woman who was to
take his place, Kay Arola, met with the MTF and agreed to ensure ARC representation. For
about a year, probation supervisors Dan Bartlett and Dave Holmbeck were actively
involved with the MTF. After Wally Kostich was hired as the Chief Probation Officer, he
became active in the MTF.
Not long after the grant was awarded, Mark Rubin won the election to become St. Louis
County Attorney. He replaced Leslie Beiers on the MTF with Angie Shambour, who had
been involved with the JDAI as a juvenile prosecutor. After the second training in
Washington, DC, in October 2011, Mr. Rubin became very actively involved with the MTF.
As the MTF struggled to gather data that could be used, the jail administrator for the
county, Robyn Wojciechowski, became active and very helpful to the MTF.
Dr. Weidner joined the MTF as a consultant, gathering data and developing a report from
with his analysis. He helped the MTF understand his findings and presented his findings
to the community. St. Louis County Court Administrator Marietta Johnson assisted Dr.
Weidner in gathering data; she also joined the MTF for a time, helping them to
understand what kinds of data were available and how to access them. The Honorable
Mark Starr, who sits on the bench in the Hibbing courthouse, was active with the MTF
early on, when Judge DeSanto was not available. He hosted at least one meeting in his
chambers in Hibbing and attended a number of meetings as the MTF developed its
hypotheses and plan. Below is a list of core task force members as described above*:
The Honorable Shaun R. Floerke
Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial District

The Honorable John DeSanto

Judge of the Sixth Judicial District


Fred Friedman or Daniel Lew
Chief Public Defender, Sixth Judicial District

Kay Arola
Executive Director, Arrowhead Regional
Corrections

Mark Rubin
St. Louis County Attorney

Rebecca St. George


RJIP Task Force Coordinator/Community Member

Ross Litman
St. Louis County Sheriff

Donna Ennis
Community Representative
Regional Director, North Homes Children and
Family Services. Inc.

Anne Clancey
Duluth Police Department Deputy Chief
Wally Kostich
Chief Probation Officer, Arrowhead Regional
Corrections

Mark Stodghill
Projects and Initiatives for St. Louis County
Attorneys Office

*Starting in 2015 the MTF will consist of the Chief Judge, Chief Public Defender, Chief Probation officer, the
County Attorney, and community representative

IMPLEMENTATION
During the early months of 2012, the MTF traveled throughout the county and
interviewed each district court judge regarding their decision-making process in pre-trial
decisions. The Honorable Judge DeSanto, a MTF member, set up these interviews and
participated in each one, along with the MTF coordinator, and at least one other task
force member. The judges were strikingly candid in these interviews, giving the MTF
ideas and options for moving forward with change. To see how the judges responses
changed after the reform, see Appendix N.
On July 27th 2012, largely as a result of these interviews with judges, the St. Louis
County courts took a full day off to allow the MTF to provide pre-trial decision-making
training for all of the district court judges and for all ARC probation officers who deal with
pre-trial defendants. This step was indicative of the courts willingness to enter into a
long-term and meaningful relationship with the task force. After Judge DeSanto
personally reached out, other judges felt more willing to participate; as major decision
makers in the court, their support was essential. With the help of grant managers in
Washington, the MTF identified and flew in seven experts from around the country to
hold the training on pre-trial decision-making and on implicit bias. This was widely hailed
as a game-changer, giving criminal justice practitioners a view on pre-trial supervision
and release that they had not before had the opportunity to consider. Additionally, this
training solidified the dedication of key players in reform, judges and probation officers,
without which, reform efforts would be unsuccessful. Through bringing in national
experts and gaining the support of critical local entities, the MTF was able to gain
legitimacy and get the buy-in of more stakeholders. The training agenda can be seen in
Appendix H.
As part of this daylong training, the MTF invited other criminal justice practitioners, as
well as other leaders from St. Louis communities of color, to join the MTF at a luncheon
where the group discussed its project and what they hoped to accomplish. More than
seventy people attended the luncheon.
Following that training, the MTF developed an agreement with the courts, ARC, the St.
Louis County Attorneys Office, the Office of the Public Defender, the Duluth Police
Department, and the St. Louis County Sheriffs Office regarding allocation of resources in
ordering pre-trial assessments, as well as streamlining and improving the use of the pretrial risk assessment tool.
The pre-trial risk assessment tool that ARC and the St. Louis County Probation
Department began using in September 2011 was evaluated by the Pretrial Justice
Institute (PJI) to ensure consistency with nationwide best practices. This analysis
revealed a series of problems with the pre-trial assessment tool; ARC investigated the
issue and remedied the tool. Eventually the updated pre-trial assessment tool was
implemented. Subsequently, funding support from Public Welfare Foundation was
requested and received to further the efforts of the task force.

The MTF also worked to change discretionary pre-trial release/detention practices in the
county. The MTF came up with standard practices for judges to follow that are rooted in
the presumption of release and community supervision, and are not based on the
imposition of money bail. The MTF developed a checklist, titled Pre-Trial Release
Considerations Checklist, for judges to streamline Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure
6.02 to enable a clearer understanding of all the factors judges should consider before
making a pre-trial determination. The checklist also serves to help ensure proper
adherence by the judiciary of the newly agreed upon Memorandum of Understanding.
The checklist is currently being utilized and is always available on the judges bench, and
judges are now asked to formally make note of any reasons for denying either supervised
release or releasing on the defendants own recognizance. An independent evaluator is
currently evaluating the use of this checklist and its impact on pre-trial decisions.
The MTF drafted a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective agencies regarding treatment
of pre-trial investigations and for what cases pre-trial investigations would be mandatory. This MOU can be
seen in Appendix E. This MOU was signed with the objective of determining what steps can be taken to
ensure that a pre-trial investigation report is done for more felony arrestees and for any arrestee who will be
detained pre-trial, ensuring that nonviolent, low risk arrestees are released without conditions, moderate risk
arrestees are released to community supervision, and money bail is imposed only to keep high risk arrestees in
detention. The ultimate goal was to increase pre-trial release studies for felony cases while maintaining
community safety in all cases. After the agreement was implemented, the MTF began to collect data which will
be analyzed to determine whether the plans under the MOU were a proper approach in addressing the identified
racial disparity.
Follow up training is needed and the MTF is working to develop a daylong session. In this follow-up training,
there will be more advanced discussion on pre-trial justice issues and trainers will use specific factual scenarios.
In addition to the training, the MTF is working to see whether the risk assessment tool can be automated and is
working on securing laptops inside of the courthouses to ensure criminal history reports and pre-trial assessment
reports are readily available to judges. Minnesota is measuring the effectiveness of their reform efforts by
tracking the number of pre-trial detainees and the race of those detainees. The MTF is also tracking the length
of pre-trial detention and the cost.

TASK FORCE BUDGET


Grant 1: 2010-2011 American Bar Association RJIP Grant-$12,000
Expense
Site Facilitator
Task Force
Meetings
Community
Meetings/Trainin
gs
Prep of
Materials/Pamph
lets

Budget
$7500
$2200

Amount Used
$6556.23
$3880.85

Remaining
$943.75
$(1680.85)

$1900

$1354.92

$545.08

$400

$0

$400

*Total Surplus:
$ 207.98

*Surplus of $207.98 added to next Grant


Grant 2: 2011-2012 American Bar Association RJIP Grant-$12,000
Expense
Site Facilitator
Task Force
Meetings
Community
Meetings/Trainin
gs
Prep of
Materials/Pamph
lets

Budget
$7707.98
$2200

Amount Used
$9.562.50
$875.14

Remaining
$1854.52
$(1324.86)

$1900

$0

$1900

$400

$1159.97

$(759.97)

*Total Surplus:
$ 610.73

*Surplus of $610.73 added to next Grant

Grant 3: 2015-2016 Public Welfare Grant-$10,000


Expense
Evaluation prior
2012-2015 RJIP
Pretrial Release
Outcome Report
Administrative
and Meeting
Costs
2016/17
Program
Evaluation -

Budget
$4000

Amount Used
$4000

Remaining
$0

$1000

$1000

$0

$3500

$0

$3500

Social Work Intern


Stipend and
Supervision cost

$1500

$1500

$0

*Total Surplus:
$ 3500

Grant 4: 2015-2016 Presumption of Innocence Grant-$11,000


Expense
Probation
Supervision
Client
Advocate/Case
Manager

Budget
$5000

Amount Used
$0

Remaining
$0

$6000

$0

$0

*Total Surplus:
$ 11000

To see a copy of the grants contracts awarded to the MTF, refer to Appendices A, B, U, and Y.

RESULTS
EVALUATION PLAN
Background Data Collected - General Diversion:
Assessing reduction in disparities in detention rates: In order to determine the efficacy of St. Louis Countys
reformed pre-trial assessment system, measurement of before, during, and after reform were required. The focus
of this evaluation was on the final stage in the reform model: Reduced disparities in detention rates.
To assess the impact of the independent variables, use of the new assessment tool and type of pre-trial
assessments, and the detention rates of felony defendants, a series of nonparametric statistical analyses were
conducted, including frequency and descriptive analyses and chi-squares. These analyses allowed for a
comparison in detention rates of persons of color versus whites, both before and after the implementation of the
reforms.

This data was compared to data collected after the revised tool was put into place. Specifically, a comparison
between American Indian, Blacks, and whites was to be conducted. If the revised tool and new protocol are
effective, fewer persons of color will be detained prior to trial in the baseline phase than after the reforms have
taken place. These comparisons will indicate whether the pre-trial assessment tool was effective in reducing
racial disparities in pre-trial detention orders. If desired, a comparison between genders may also be conducted.
Assessing the use of the checklist by judges: After the implementation of the checklist, judges were surveyed
about their pre-trial decision making process. See Appendix N for the complete survey questionnaire. Both the
interviews and questionnaire focused on what factors were used in the judges pre-trial decision making.
Additionally, the post-checklist questionnaire asked about the perceived need for training.
Sample:
Assessing reduction in disparities in detention rates: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012, 93.0% of
St. Louis County residents identified themselves as white, 2.3% identified as American Indian/Alaska Native,
and 1.9% identified as Black. However in the randomly selected sample of pre-trial defendants in the county,
American Indian/Alaska Native made up 37% of the defendant population, 28% were Black, and 25% were
white.
Three samples were randomly identified from three universes of individuals arraigned in St. Louis County. The
samples were drawn from pre-trial release reports during the following time periods:
Pre-training phase: Prior to probation officer training, between January 1 and December 30, 2010;
Interim phase: after the implicit bias training, between September 1, 2011 and January 30, 2012; and
Post-training phase: After the training about the new Supervised Release Study protocol in February
2103, between March 1 and April 30, 2013.
The total sample had 75 members, 25 in each phase.
There were no statistically significant differences between the three groups in either gender or race/ethnicity. On
the other hand, post-training probation officers were significantly more likely to recommend pre-trial release
than the officers in the earlier two samples.
Table 1. Sample characteristics by sample group.
PreTraining
Phase

Interim
Phase

PostTraining
Phase

Total

n (%)

n (%)

n (%)

Male

19 (79%)

22 (88%)

16 (64%)

57
(77%)

Female

5 (21%)

3 (12%)

9 (36%)

17
(23%)

American Indian/Alaska
Native

9 (38%)

9 (36%)

9 (36%)

27
(37%)

Black/African American

7 (29%)

8 (32%)

6 (24%)

21

n (%)

Gender

Race

(28%)
8 (33%)

8 (32%)

10 (40%)

26
(35%)

Pre-trial release
recommended

12 (46%)

12 (48%)

21 (84%)

48
(65%)

Pre-trial release not


recommended

9 (37%)

13 (52%)

4 (16%)

26
(35%)

White/Caucasian
Probation Officer
Recommendation

Table 2. Sample characteristics by courthouse location.


Duluth

Virginia

Hibbing

n (%)

n (%)

n (%)

Male

22 (85%)

18 (69%)

17 (77%)

Female

4 (15%)

8 (31%)

5 (23%)

American Indian/Alaska
Native

9 (35%)

10 (35%)

8 (36%)

Black/African American

8 (30%)

8 (31%)

5 (23%)

White/Caucasian

9 (35%)

8 (31%)

9 (41%)

Pre-trial release
recommended

12 (46%)

24 (92%)

12 (55%)

Pre-trial release not


recommended

14 (54%)

2 (8%)

10 (45%)

Gender

Race

Probation Officer
Recommendation

There were no statistically significant differences in gender and race/ethnicity among the three sites. However,
probation officers recommended pre-trial release significantly more often in Virginia than in the other two
locations.
Assessing the use of the checklist by judges: Twelve of the sixteen sitting judges participated in the postimplementation survey. Eight completed the survey electronically and returned it to the project evaluator, while
four completed it by telephone. One judge declined to participate and three were unreachable at the time of this
writing.

DATA

Assessing reduction in disparities in detention rates: There were no significant differences in the probation
officers recommendation for pre-trial release by race, either in total or at each of the three data points. In other
words, pre-trial release recommendations did not vary by race or ethnicity at any of the data collection times.
However, judges orders did vary by geographic location in that individuals seen at the Virginia courthouse were
significantly more likely to be placed on supervised release than were defendants appearing at the other
courthouses. Please see Table 3 for additional information.
Table 3. Judges orders by location.
Duluth

Virginia

Hibbing

Total

n (%)

n (%)

n (%)

n (%)

5 (7%)

Judges Pretrial Order


Released on Own Recognizance (ROR) 5 (19%)
Placed on Supervised Release

11
(42%)

23 (88%)

9 (43%)

43 (59%)

Denied Supervised Release

7 (27%)

2 (8%)

8 (38%)

17 (23%)

Bonded Out

2 (8%)

2 (3%)

Other

1 (4%)

1 (4%)

4 (19%)

6 (8%)

Pre-trial orders did not vary by race when encapsulated in the total sample (see Table 4).
Table 4. Judges orders by race
American
Indian/
Alaska Native

Black/Afric
an
American

White/
Caucasian

n (%)

n (%)

Released on Own Recognizance


(ROR)

2 (40%)

1 (20%)

2 (40%)

Placed on Supervised Release

15 (35%)

13 (30%)

15 (35%)

Denied Supervised Release

4 (16%)

6 (27%)

7 (38%)

Bonded Out

2 (8%)

Other

2 (8%)

2 (9%)

2 (8%)

n (%)

Judges Pretrial Order

There were no statistically significant differences in judges orders across the three phases. However, the
difference did approach significance. In this analysis, judges were more likely to place defendant on supervised
release after the final graduated sanctions training. Further, judges were more likely to reject defendants for

supervised release during the pre-training phase (although, again, these data only approached significance so
caution should be used in making assumptions based on the results).
Table 5. Judges orders by data collection phase
Pre-Training
Phase

Interim
Phase

PostTraining
Phase

n (%)

n (%)

n (%)

4 (17%)

1 (4%)

Placed on Supervised Release

13 (54%)

10 (42%)

19 (76%)

Denied Supervised Release

9 (38%)

5 (21%)

3 (12%)

Bonded Out

2 (8%)

Other

2(8%)

2 (8%)

2 (8%)

Judges Pretrial Order


Released on Own Recognizance
(ROR)

There were no significant differences in the pre-trial release orders by race at any of the three data points. In
other words, these data showed that Judges did not vary their orders based on race or ethnicity from the pretraining phase to the post-training phase. As can be seen in the tables presented, very few defendants were
granted a release on bond (2; .03%). See Appendix M for the complete data set of Pretrial Release Decisions.
Assessing the use of the checklist by judges: Nine of twelve participating judges indicated that they have been
using the pre-trial checklist. Those who did not use the form stated they were not aware that the checklist was
completed. Of those who used the checklist, all stated that it was helpful to them in their decision-making
process.
Judges were also asked what factors they took into consideration when making pre-trial release and detention
decisions. Based on Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 6.02, judges were asked about the factors
listed in the rule and whether they were useful in making their decisions. Table 6 provides detail about the
judges responses, with one column detailing the number of judges who indicated they do take the factor into
consideration in their decisions and another column showing the number who do not.
As can be seen from Table 6, all participating judges take into consideration the following factors:

Criminal convictions;

Prior history of appearing in court;

Prior flight to avoid prosecution;

The victims safety; and

Any other persons safety.

Nearly all judges also take into consideration the nature of the circumstances of the offense charged. The
individual who answered no to that question stated that this type of information was generally not available at
the arraignment phase.
Factors that were not taken into consideration by the majority of the participating judges included the weight of
the evidence and the defendants financial resources. Several, though not the majority, of the judges also stated
that they also do not consider the following factors:

Family ties;

Employment; and

Length of residence in the community.

Table 6. Factors taken into consideration by pre-trial judges


Factor to be taken into consideration

Yes

No

Nature of the circumstances of the offense charged (n


= 12)

11

Weight of the evidence (n = 11)

Family ties (n = 11)

Employment (n = 11)

Financial resources (n = 11)

Character and mental conditions (n = 11)

10

Length of residence in the community (n = 11)

Criminal convictions (n = 11)

11

Prior history of appearing in court (n = 11)

11

Prior flight to avoid prosecution (n = 11)

11

The victims safety (n = 11)

11

Any other persons safety (n = 11)

11

The communitys safety (n = 11)

10

Fewer than half (six judges) indicated on the post-checklist survey that they would like additional training on
best practices on bail setting. Only two judges stated that they would like training on other subjects, although
neither elaborated on what type of training they desired.
On March 27, 2014, Arrowhead Regional Corrections submitted an update to the project. The following was
noted:
1) Nearly every individual incarcerated on a felony charge is now being screened for pre-trial release,
resulting in an 11% increase from 2010 until 2013;

2) The majority of clients recommended for pre-trial release climbed by four percentage points, from 75%
to 79%, between 2010 and 2013;
3) In July 2013, Arrowhead Regional Corrections received a grant of $571,761 from St. Louis County to
expand IPTRP and community sanctions supervision services. As a result, 50 pre-trial clients, who
would otherwise be incarcerated, were placed on IPTRP, saving more than $175,000 in jail costs.
Additionally, two Community Sanctions Program probation officers carry caseloads of 35-45 of
individuals who have violated conditions of their probation and are at imminent risk of being
incarcerated.
Please see Appendix K for the complete update report.

EVALUATOR RECOMMENDATIONS
The MTF chose to look at pre-trial release and bond amount orders by judges in the three county courthouses.
Data from the courthouses was collected across three time periods. Results indicate that there was no disparity
in the release status by race/ethnicity or across time. The majority of judges indicated that they use the Pre-trial
Release Checklist in making their pre-trial bail/detention/release decisions. Those who did not use the checklist
indicated that they were unaware that it had been finalized.
However, probation officers who completed the final training were more likely to recommend supervised
release than were the officers at the other two points in time. Further, judges at the courthouse in the city of
Virginia were more like to order supervised release than were the judges seated at the other courthouses. Based
on the results of this evaluation, we offer the following recommendations:
Ensure that all sitting judges have the updated Checklist at their disposal;
Continue to work with judges to help them utilize the newly created Pretrial Release Checklist;
Work with law enforcement to examine the disparity in arrests across race/ethnicity;
Continue to improve the communication among the three courthouses;
Complete a similar data analysis six months after the Pretrial Release Checklist has been introduced to
judges in the county;
Re-analyze the data using a larger sample;
Examine the data controlling for level of crime committed (e.g. felony, misdemeanor, etc.);
Continuously review and upgrade the Pretrial Release Checklist based on feedback and continuing
evaluation.

**Evaluation Method, Results, and Recommendations provided by IJAY Consulting. For the full report, see
Appendix L.
To see the evaluation, data, and recommendation of Dr. Weinder who completed his report in April 2015, please
see Appendix R.

PROJECT SUMMARY
The MTF chose to address racial disparities in pre-trial detention and bail-setting decisions, specifically for
felony cases in St. Louis County. The MTF has worked with judges and probation officers involved in the
arraignment process to determine the reasons for racial disparity in pre-trial detention and how the disparity can
be addressed. They also worked with the Washington D.C.- based Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) to gain a better
understanding of both pre-trial assessment tools and nationwide best practices in utilization and implementation
of the tools. ARC, with the help of PJI, overhauled their pre-trial assessment tool and began using the updated
tool almost immediately. Next, the group began to work with the courts to ensure that arraignment court judges
would have the information they need before ordering pre-trial detention. The MTF also developed, laminated,
and widely distributed a pre-trial considerations checklist to judges.

In meeting the ultimate goal of reducing the identified disparity, the MTF also developed an agreement with the
courts and ARC regarding allocation of resources in ordering pre-trial release studies. Task force members met
with and interviewed all of the St. Louis County judges to gather information about assessments, as well as
streamlining and improving the use of the newly implemented pre-trial assessment tool implemented by ARC.
The MTFs ultimate goal was to increase pretrial release studies for felony cases while maintaining community
safety in all cases. The MTF believes that using an unbiased tool, validated for all felony pre-trial decisions for
mandatory offenses, will decrease the role of implicit bias in the decision-making process, thus decreasing racial
disparities.
Furthermore, Appendix O and Appendix P provide reports from IPTRP and the Community Sanctions
Program, which show that since late 2009, when the MTF began, the number of defendants recommended for
pre-trial release climbed by four percentage points, from 75% to 79%. In addition, based on a Memorandum of
Understanding signed by the key stakeholders in the jurisdiction, nearly every individual incarcerated on a
felony charge was now to be screened for pre-trial release. This agreement resulted in an 11% increase in
releases pre-trial from 2010 to 2013. Subsequent to undergoing graduated sanctions training, judges stated in an
evaluation interview that they were more likely to place defendants on supervised release. After only 9 months
of pre-trial reform, reports showed that 141 people had been released, and more than 10,000 days were spent on
pre-trial release programs versus in jail, resulting in $985,421.69 in jail savings. Moreover, there was a 6%
decrease in the pre-trial jail population. The changes have resulted in an increase in the overall number of
clients who are screened for pre-trial release, rising from 1,273 clients in 2010 to 1,415 clients in 2013.

SUSTAINABILITY
During the second year of the RJIP grant, the Public Welfare Foundation provided an
additional grant to the project that was used to provide training from top-level
practitioners around the country to all of the probation officers and all of the judges. The
remainder of that grant was used to continue more work. The PWF then provided money
to enable the MTF to continue on into the next year.
Indirectly related to the work of RJIP, Arrowhead Regional Corrections received $580,000
to expand resources on pre-trial release work. This money is essentially a shift of money
from the jail. Prior to this project, ARC had never before done an analysis of pre-trial tools
and work. Even the decision to use the tool began about the same time this project
started. Through this grant, ARC has taken the opportunity to refine and study their pretrial work, giving probation officers better tools to understand the differences in
supervising and assessing pre-trial v. post-conviction defendants.

PROVIDING CASE MANAGEMENT THROUGH THE NEXT STEPS PROGRAM


The ultimate success of the project is whether the 141 people released during the 9-month period in St. Louis
County can ultimately be successful on probation, addressing significant chemical dependency needs, and
obtaining mental health services. This success will be measured on whether or not pre-trial detention is reduced,
meaningful services are provided for those on pre-trial release, and whether this cohort can be successful postsentencing, all helping to reduce the consumption of jail days and dramatically improvement the lives of those
who would otherwise be detained pre-trial release.
In order to achieve such a standard of success, the MTF hopes to expand the scope of its reform by now
extending resources to defendants released on probation or through completion of programs such as IPTRP and
the community sanctions program. The MTF hopes to offer case management to at-risk defendants through the
Next Steps Program. The target population of the Next Steps program are individuals who are out on the
Intensive Pretrial Release program or on Community Sanctions Program. The goals is to ensure that these
participants are getting the resources (ie: engagement in treatment, health insurance, chemical dependency,

mental health, medication management) they need to not only avoid failing on probation, rearrests, and
recidivism, but also more holistically, be successful on probation. Essentially, participants will be provided
coordination and case management to assist them with their needs and make a successful transition.
The MTF hopes to offer a pilot of this program for 30 participants who are now sentenced and have been
previously released on IPTRP. These participants, now post-sentencing, would receive intensive case
management for a 6 month period, with the goals of getting participants enrolled in health insurance, reducing
jail days, reducing probation violations, increasing sobriety, and aiding participants in addressing chemical and
metal health needs. The participants will all be chosen from a high risk and high needs pool. 3 or 4 new
participants will be added each month. Participants will be drawn from the caseloads of specific probation
officers and will be deemed eligible based on their score on the newly implemented pretrial risk assessment
(randomized within that interval). An evaluator is already on board and following the finalizing of an MOU, the
next step is to get the relevant personal together to train on protocol. Participants will be assigned to a client
advocate from the Center for Drugs and Alcohol. Refer to Appendix W for a copy of the Next Steps potential
participant program brochure. Refer to Appendix X for a copy of MOU for these next steps.

APPENDICES
APPENDIX A: OCTOBER 2010 GRANT CONTRACT

APPENDIX B: 2011 GRANT CONTRACT ADDENDUM

APPENDIX C: DR. WEIDNER PRELIMINARY REPORT 2011

APPENDIX D: RJIP REFORM IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

Racial Justice Reform Implementation Plan


Worksheet
Step 1: Clearly identify the problem/issue

Too many people of color who are incarcerated in pre-trial detention.

Step 2: Engage in an "evidence-based"


approach

Find out what statistical numbers we still need to ask; acquire data;
create plan for on-going data collection to determine progress.

Step 3: Explain the goal of the reform


initiative you are proposing

Fair and equitable application of Rule 6 of the MN Rules of Criminal


Procedure for all felony pre-trial release considerations.

Step 4: Develop a clear, step-by-step plan


what needs to be done to implement your
reform initiative

1. Determine how to useful statistical data creation and analysis;


2. Interview all of the 16 judges in the Sixth Judicial District to
determine what will be most useful to them;
3. Use that information to enhance development of a checklist, based
on Rule 6 of MN Rules of Criminal Procedure, for judges to consider
when making pretrial determinations for felonies;
4. Work with Arrowhead Regional Corrections to determine the best
way to get an SR report to judges every time bail is an issue;
5. Collaborate with court administration to create a system of
consistent data collection among the three courthouses in the county;
6. Implement changes;
7. Track effect of reform on racial disparities.

Step 5: Create a name for your reform


initiative

Pre-trial Justice Initiative (still tentative, I think)

Step 5: Determine a realistic timeframe for 1-5 above:


implementation (Use Grant Reporting
1. By January 2012;
Deadlines)
2. By February 2012;
3. By March 2012;
4. Ongoing, plan in place by April 2012;
5. Ongoing, plan in place by June 2012;
6. By September 2012;
7. Ongoing.
Step 7: Get other criminal justice
stakeholders to buy in to your reform and
assist with the implementation process

Work with all of the judges to determine the most useful tools we can
help create for them when making pre-trial determinations; continue
our work with ARC as we work to ensure that our work complements
the work that they are already doing; meet with county and city to
explain some of the cost-saving benefits of the proposed reform.

Step 8: Define "measurable" success and set There is a reduction in racial disparities during pretrial;
achievable milestones
Judges are consistently using the checklist that we will develop;
There is fair and consistent implementation of the reform across all
three courthouses.
Step 9: Determine how you will track the
New system will be able to generate regular, automated reports; data
success of your reform (who will collect data will be reported by County Attorney's Office.
and generate reports?)
Step 10: Set smaller, short-term goals
("interim deliverables") to show productivity

Racial Justice Reform Implementation Plan


Worksheet
Step 11: Collaborate with existing projects
and initiatives in your jurisdiction

Arrowhead Regional Corrections; Juvenile Detention Alternatives


Initiative; American Indian Commission; Human Rights
Commission; Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

Step 12: Identify technical assistance and


supplemental funding needs

1. funding to enhance probation resources for increased numbers of


defendants on supervised release (ie, more electronic monitoring);
2. funding/TA to enhance court record-keeping;
3. TA (from PJI) to help determine exactly what information we
need, and how to get it.

APPENDIX E: MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

APPENDIX F: PRE-TRIAL RELEASE CONSIDERATIONS CHECKLIST

APPENDIX G: PRE-TRIAL RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL

APPENDIX H: JULY 27TH 2012 PRETRIAL RELEASE TRAINING AGENDA

Saint Louis County, Minnesota


Pretrial Release Training Conference
July 27, 2012 8:00AM-5:30PM
Radisson Hotel, 505 W Superior St., Duluth Minnesota
This day-long workshop will be held for the sixteen trial judges in Saint Louis County, Minnesota who preside over
arraignments and make bail determinations and the sixty probation officers who handle pretrial investigation reports and
community supervision of pretrial defendants. The training will cover both pretrial release determinations and bias-free
decision-making in the criminal justice system.

8:00-8:30 Registration, Breakfast Buffet


8:30-8:45 Welcome: Hon. John DeSanto, District Court and Wally Kostich, Director of Pretrial Services
8:45-9:30 Overview of Pretrial Release Tim Murray, Executive Director, Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI)
9:45-11:00
Judges
Judge to Judge: Making Pretrial Release Decisions
Two veteran trial judges will discuss best practices in judicial determinations of pretrial release and
detention. Presenters: Hon. Truman Morrison, Superior Court of the District of Columbia (retired);
Hon. Margie Enquist, Jefferson County Colorado Trial Court
Probation Officers
Risk Assessments and Pretrial Release Investigations
Description: the importance of accuracy in pretrial investigations and risk assessment tools; the role of
the probation officer in release/detention determinations; the proper use of the risk assessment
instrument
Speakers: John Clark, Senior Program Analyst, Pretrial Justice Institute ;
Sharon Trexler, former Director of Montgomery County, Maryland Pretrial Services

11:00-12:10
Judges
Judges: Setting Conditions of Release
Description: How to set conditions of release, what conditions are most effective in preventing failure to
appear and protecting community safety; interaction between tribal, state and federal law and the impact
on pretrial release conditions
Presenters: John Clark, Senior Program Analyst, Pretrial Justice Institute;
Hon. Leo I. Brisbois, Magistrate Judge, Minnesota U.S. District Court
Probation Officers
Probation Officers: What Works in Managing Pretrial Defendants
This session will provide probation officers with an opportunity to ask a panel of experts how to deal
with problem defendants and discuss some best practices in community-based pretrial supervision and
the effectiveness of low-maintenance supervision techniques in rural areas.
Presenters: Tim Murray, Executive Director, Pretrial Justice Institute;
Sharon Trexler, former Director of Montgomery County, Maryland Pretrial Services

12:15-1:45 Luncheon for Saint Louis County Criminal Justice Community


A number of representatives from throughout the criminal justice system in the sixth judicial circuit and
representatives from the community are invited to participate in this luncheon presentation hosted by the
Saint Louis County Racial Justice Task Force

2:00-3:50
Judges: Implicit Bias
Description: What is implicit bias and how can it affect the discretionary decisions judges make bail,
pretrial detention, conditions of release.
Presenters: Sarah Redfield, TBA
Probation Officers: What is Implicit Bias
Description: What is implicit bias and how does it affect discretionary decision making in the criminal
justice system
Presenters: Edwin Burnette, TBA

4:00-5:30
Judge to Judge: Eliminating Implicit Bias, Reducing Racial Disparities
Description: this session will examine approaches that can be taken to prevent or reduce the impact of
implicit bias in judicial decision-making
Presenters: Hon. Pamela G. Alexander, President, MN Council on Crime and Justice (former Hennepin
County District Court Judge)
Probation Officers: Pretrial Release and Bias-Free Decision Making
Description: this session will examine approaches that can be taken to prevent or reduce the impact of
implicit bias in making decisions regarding pretrial release recommendations and supervision
recommendations.
Presenters: Sarah Redfield; Edwin Burnette

5:30 Wine and Cheese reception (for all conference participants)

APPENDIX I: JANUARY 7TH, 2013 TASK FORCE REPORT


Criminal Justice Sections

RACIAL JUSTICE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT


January 7, 2013 Task Force Report
Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance
The ABA Criminal Justice Section and the Bureau of Justice Assistance would like to thank you for your continued
cooperation and dedication to the Racial Justice Improvement Project. We are nearing the end of our first term for this

project, and we will soon commence reform in four new sites! For this project, you will have only one other reporting
requirement, due on February 20 2013, or within three weeks of completing your RJIP reform. This document serves as
your reporting template for the January 7, 2013 Report. Please submit this completed document in word format (not PDF)
to Safiedine.s@gmail.com by no later than close of business January 7, 2013. Please type your answers in the spaces
below and title the document [your jurisdiction] January 7 Report. As one of the last reporting measures, please be as
thorough as possible in this report, even if it requires repeating information from other reports, documents, or
conversations. Please include as an attachment to your email submission, any relevant documents that are referenced or
requested. We thank you for your great efforts and look forward to hearing from you in the New Year!

Jurisdiction: _St. Louis County, MN___

1. Please list
the name
and title of
Date of Last Task Force Meeting:
___12/20/12__
each RJIP
task force
member in
your
Date of Upcoming Task Force Meeting:
________________
jurisdiction
and also include their email address. We will update our website with the names you list below.
(Please highlight the task force members who do not wish to have their email address posted on our
website). If you would like to remove a task force member that is currently listed or make a change,
please also state that below.

Honorable John DeSanto, District Court Judge, Sixth Judicial District, john.desanto@courts.state.mn.us
Mark Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney, rubinm@stlouiscountymn.gov
Fred Friedman, Chief Public Defender, Sixth Judicial District, fred.friedman@pubdef.state.mn.us
Kay Arola, Executive Director of Arrowhead Regional Corrections, arolak@stlouiscountymn.gov
Wally Kostich, Chief Probation Officer, ARC, kostichw@stlouiscountymn.gov
Robin Roeser, Deputy Chief of Police, Duluth Police Department, rroeser@duluthmn.gov
Donna Ennis, community representative, donna.ennis@northhomes.org
Rebecca St. George, task force coordinator, rstgeorge@hotmail.com

2. Please explain the goal of your reform initiative and define measurable success of your reform.
How are you implementing the reform and producing outcome measures?
Our task force has chosen to address racial disparities in pretrial detention and bail-setting decisions,
specifically for felony cases in St. Louis County. In 2011 Dr. Rob Weidner conducted a statistical analysis for
the task force that showed that, in St. Louis County, persons of color were being detained disproportionately
during pretrial, and that the courts had a tendency to set higher bail amounts for defendants of color.
In meeting our ultimate goal of reducing these disparities, our task force is developing an agreement with the
courts and with Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC) regarding allocation of resources in ordering pretrial
assessments, as well as streamlining and improving the use of the pretrial assessment tool newly implemented
by ARC. Our ultimate goal is to increase pretrial release studies for felony cases while maintaining community
safety in all cases. The task force believes that using an unbiased tool that has been validated for all felony
pretrial decisions will decrease the role of implicit bias in the decision-making process, thus decreasing racial
disparities.
Attached find the Outcome Evaluation Plan developed by Ijay Consulting.

3.

Please explain your current status in completing your reform initiative.

Following a year and a half of planning and analysis, our task force conducted a training last summer for all of
the judges in the district as well as all probation officers involved in the pretrial process for adult felony cases.
We brought in experts from around the country to provide education about best practices. These experts came in
after learning about St. Louis County and our current practices, and were provided with all of the information
we had gathered up until that point.
The training proved to be incredibly beneficial, creating dialogue between judges and probation officers, and
developing credibility for our task force as we move forward with our initiative.
The agreement that has been signed onto by the task force is currently in the process of going through the
judges in St. Louis County. As we maintain and strengthen the input and therefore commitment of the judges,
the timelines for completing things like obtaining their approval for substantive changes at times becomes a
moving target. We hope to have the agreement completely signed and unanimously approved by the end of
January.
Once the agreement has been approved, a few members of the task force will meet with all of the judges
individually to ensure mutual understanding of what the agreement means and how it will be carried out. A part
of those meetings will include garnering input from the judges regarding an appropriate checklist that they will
then use to help them determine best practices in ordering pretrial release studies understanding, of course,
that they ultimately will make the best decision at their disposal for each individual case.
4. What are your key milestone dates/deadlines leading up to the conclusion of your sites reform and
evaluation? Please include upcoming specific task force meeting dates, specific or approximate dates
for dissemination / promotion of project activities (including press, luncheons, launches), and other
important administrative / logistical dates of your project. Please also state whether you would like
assistance in the promotion of your reform.
Our formal agreement with the courts is in the process of being signed. At the completion of signing, we will
meet to formulate our plan to meet with each judge as outlined in number 2. Once those meetings have been
completed, we will formalize the new checklist, present it to each judge, and work with ARC to ensure that the
probation officers are also up to date on its use.
We hope to provide more training for the judges and probation officers on pretrial decision-making as we
progress with this change. As we progress, we will evaluate and continue to meet to determine the efficacy of
the change.
5. Please provide a brief paragraph summarizing your sites reform. In this 1 paragraph only
statement, limit your information to what you feel comfortable posting on our project website:
We are reforming pretrial assessments in St. Louis County in order to reduce racial disparities in pretrial
detention and bail-setting decisions, particularly as they impact Native Americans and African Americans. We
are working with judges and probation to evaluate and perfect the use of Arrowhead Regional Corrections
pretrial assessment tool, and to help determine best practices and use of resources when ordering pretrial
assessments in all cases.
6. Have you gotten other criminal justice stakeholders to buy in to your reform and assist with the
implementation process, or have you collaborated with existing projects and initiatives in your
jurisdiction since choosing your reform effort? If so, please list who and how they have contributed.

Please also include any consulting services you have sought or received from entities or individuals.
Please also include whether you have requested or added any entity representatives to serve on your task
force.
ARC came into this project as they were unveiling their new pretrial assessment tool; the task force was a
natural fit for ensuring that the tool was useful and being used appropriately. When the Pretrial Justice Institute
out of Washington, DC, provided technical assistance to ARC through our project, the benefits of the
partnership became apparent to everyone involved. Especially since that time, ARC has been not only an active
participant, but a driving force in the work that we are doing.
Since the training we provided last summer, it has been clear that the bench in St. Louis County is open to the
work that we are doing, and is willing to work with us as we implement this reform. This cooperation would not
have been likely without the extra time and effort put into it by Hon. John DeSanto, our judicial task force
member.
7. Have you remained consistent with your policy reform and implementation plan from October
2011? Please explain if you have deviated from your original plan.
We have not deviated. We have refined our plan as we continue our dialogue with the stakeholders in the
system. For instance, in October of 2011 we thought we would simply develop a checklist for judges to use that
streamlined Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 6.02; however, after meeting with all of the judges, we
determined that having a broader training and discussion about pretrial release would be more beneficial and
have the possibility of affecting greater change. As we move on from that training, we have now determined
that a checklist is still desirable, but we have a greater understanding of what would be useful.
As we further refine our reform plans, we have identified resource allocation as a barrier to successfully
conducting pretrial assessments for all felonies. As such, we are working out an agreement to reduce the number
of assessments done for defendants in non-person misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors, to eliminate any
assessments done for petty misdemeanors, and thus increase the number done for felonies.
8. Have you identified mechanisms to track and measure the effectiveness of your reform? Have you
met with the Project Evaluator? How are you tracking the success of your reform overall and
specific projects or programs that you have since carried out? Do you have a formalized
evaluation plan? If so, please attach your evaluation plan to this report and briefly describe the process
below. If you are still working on your evaluation plan, when do you hope to have it completed?
The evaluation plan is attached.
9. Have you been met with any new challenges in accomplishing your goals? If so, have they been
overcome? What were the lessons learned?
Our only consistent challenge in accomplishing our goals has been in obtaining statistics. As the project
progresses, we continue to learn and refine how we go about that part of the work.
10. At this point in the project, do you have any recommendations for eliminating or modifying any
steps in the projects replication?
We do not.
11. To date, what amount of grant funds (if any) do you have remaining? Do you have plans to spend
the remaining grant funds? Please explain. Please also attach a simplified version of your project
budget upon submission of this report.
We do have funds remaining. We will continue to expend them in the use of meetings, payment to the task force
coordinator, and further training.
12. Please identify supplemental funding and technical assistance needs below.

At this point our biggest need for technical assistance will be in the evaluation work that will help us see what
we are doing, and what changes we will need to make.
More technical assistance from the Pretrial Justice Institute will likely also help us move forward with
implementation and evaluation; their expertise in best practices has already been invaluable, and should likely
help St. Louis County as we move forward.

APPENDIX J: ST. LOUIS COUNTY RISK ASSESSMENT PRESENTATION

APPENDIX K: PROJECT UPDATE MARCH 27, 2014