Dedicated To The Advancement Of Pretrial-Release Services
PPSA’s Board of Directors is comprised of individuals from across the state of PA. They represent a diverse group of active members. PPSA is an organization of professionals who are dedicated to the advancement of pretrial-release services and community-based, non-incarcerative alternatives for the disposition of criminal cases.
The founders of the Association saw a need to plan a strategy for addressing jail overcrowding, and to demonstrate the effect that Pretrial Release and Pretrial Diversion programs could have on the quality of justice in Pennsylvania. Collectively, the expertise of the board members was brought together to address issues that directly affect the delivery and expansion of pretrial-release services in the state.
WHAT IS PRETRIAL SERVICES?
The Start Of An Alternative
Pretrial-release services began as an outgrowth of the bail-reform movement in New York State. In the early 1960’s, the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City found that many defendants were held in detention for long periods on low bail but couldn’t afford to post their own bonds.
With the realization that some defendants needed more than just supervision to prevent a return to crime, diversion and alternative sentencing projects were later developed.
Today, pretrial services use a full spectrum of resources in their supervision and monitoring models, including: employment, education, mental health, shelter, and substance-abuse treatment.
Diversion, alternative sentencing, substance-abuse treatment, and employment programs are all outgrowths of the pretrial-service strategy.
Pretrial-service programs across the state are operated by both nonprofit organizations and probation departments, and are proven cost-effective ways to assist courts and law-enforcement officials. This is done by screening, evaluating, and monitoring defendants who can safely be released back to the community.