Pretrial release reform is an important component of justice reinvestment initiatives. However, little work has examined the implementation process or stakeholder perceptions of the implementation of a pretrial release program. In this study, we explore the perceptions and experiences of stakeholders in the criminal justice system in a county in Oregon by conducting interviews with judges, district attorney’s, defenders, and pretrial staff to assess their perceptions of the reform, including the county’s adoption of the Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment Instrument (VPRAI). Our findings highlight four main themes, which we labeled Just Keep Them Out of System, The Tool Plus Experience, What Factors Are You Talking About, and Training Would Be Great. Stakeholders generally had positive perceptions of pretrial release but expressed concern about potential barriers to successful implementation, including the risk assessment tool used, the factors evaluated, and the need for training. This research highlights the importance of assessing stakeholder perceptions when implementing reform efforts.

Author Bio

Shanell Sanchez, Ph.D.

An Associate Professor at Southern Oregon University. Her primary interests are inequality, race and ethnicity, and teaching pedagogy.

Jacqueline Strenio, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor at Norwich University. She is a health and feminist economist currently researching the economic determinants and consequences of intimate partner violence.

Document Type

Original Research Article

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Criminology Commons