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Updated Mar 3, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Arizona courts try out system on pretrial releases

YUMA, Ariz. — Five courts around Arizona will be trying out a new system
to help judges decide whether it’s safe to release criminal defendants before
their trials.

The system for scoring individual defendants will be used by Superior Courts in
Gila, Mohave, Pinal and Yuma counties and Mesa municipal court, along with
courts in several other states.

Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch says defendants who are
threats to public safety should remain behind bars while those who are not
shouldn’t remain in jail just because they cannot afford to post bail.

The Yuma Daily Sun reports that a foundation plans to
implement the assessment system in additional courts in coming months.

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