By Claire Brooker and JSP Team
Pretrial justice systems vary significantly across the country making it difficult to use a common language to compare and contrast systems. This lack of clarity leads to misunderstandings and missed opportunities for meaningful inquiry, analysis, and reform. There are several key universal terms that can be drawn from the historical and legal context of bail that can be applied across jurisdictions to aid in our understanding and analysis (see Tim Schnacke’s papers for more information). In working with multiple sites on pretrial system reforms and research, Justice System Partners (JSP) has developed a visual flowchart of pretrial justice terminology to assist sites in understanding key universal terms and phrases within the legal and historical context of bail. We believe it is important to be precise about the language used, as it has implications for how we understand systems and proceed in asking and answering questions. We hope this flowchart serves as a helpful and unifying guide to frame conversations, reform efforts, and research in and across jurisdictions.
You can find the Pretrial Terminology Flowchart here.