Task Force Recommends End Of Cash Bail, Bonds

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A task force considering reforms for Maryland’s bail review system is recommending a pretrial risk assessment program.

The Daily Records reports that the recommendations were presented Thursday at a meeting of a task force discussion options for complying with a court ruling that requires attorneys for criminal defendants at initial bail hearings. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruling could cost the state millions of dollars.

The task force recommendations include replacing secured bonds with a three-tiered risk assessment to rank defendants on their public safety risk and likelihood of appearing in court and creating a statewide pretrial services agency to supervise released defendants.

The task force did not recommend eliminating the court commissioner system and some changes may still require the presence of public defenders.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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