Standards

NAPSA has promulgated professional standards for the pretrial release and diversion fields since 1978. These Standards outline the Association’s ideals for sound front-end decision-making and effective pretrial programming.  The Standards are one of NAPSA’s unique contributions to the pretrial field and a relevant force in today’s redefinition of acceptable front-end practices and a foundation to support critical and new thinking in the future. 

The original 1978 Release Standards defined realistic and achievable goals and sound pretrial release practices, drawing on the experience of practitioners who had been involved in the first two decades of bail reform. The 1995 and 2004 updates of the Release standards and 1995 and 2008 Diversion/Intervention standards revisions offered fresh re-examination of the original Standards in light of emerging issues facing pretrial decision-makers and changes that had taken place in practices, technology, case law, and program capabilities since the original Standards’ publication.

Standards on Pretrial Release, Third Edition
Performance Standards and Goals for Pretrial Diversion/Intervention 

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Revising National Standards on Pretrial Release and Diversion
The National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) are partnering to revise NAPSA’s standards on pretrial release and diversion. The updated Standards on Pretrial Justice will streamline NAPSA’s separate standards into a single publication focusing on system-wide key elements of front-end decision-making and essential functions of pretrial release and diversion programming.  The standards will be up-to-date as to the legal and practical developments affecting front-end decisions and outcomes. Beyond being a “standards document,” the final product will be a sourcebook and reference tool to help users understand, apply, and expect legal and evidence based practices throughout the pretrial stage.
 
A group of pretrial and criminal justice experts from around the country will work with the NAPSA Board of Directors and a writer/reporter to determine appropriate updates and additions to the NAPSA black letter standards and commentary and to draft new editions of black letter standards and commentary for NAPSA’s review and approval.
 
Elements of a High Functioning Pretrial Services Agency
The National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) have partnered to develop a publication describing the essential elements of a high functioning pretrial services agency and the fundamentals of an effective pretrial system.  This publication will be a guide for jurisdictions interested in improving current elements of their pretrial release and diversion agencies and systems or creating needed procedures and practices. It will also serve as a resource for practitioners and policy makers to compare current pretrial release and diversion practices to recognized evidence-based and best practices and national standards. 
 
The project is a collaboration between the NAPSA Board of Directors and NIC’s Pretrial Executives Network (PEN). NAPSA will contract with a facilitator and writer/editor to work with a team composed of NAPSA Board and PEN members to identify and describe essential elements of a high functioning pretrial system and pretrial agency. The team also will review and approve all project drafts and forward a final recommendation draft to the full NAPSA Board and PEN. Both groups will review the document, suggest revisions and approve and ratify the final document.