Design, Sites, and Data Sources
MDRC is conducting an evaluation of pretrial system reforms in several jurisdictions that are using the Public Safety Assessment (PSA). The evaluation approach combines qualitative and quantitative methods, including the comparative interrupted time series design and other advanced techniques.
Qualitative data are obtained from observations, interviews with key system actors, and review of each jurisdiction’s policies and procedures.
The quantitative analysis uses data from a variety of administrative data systems maintained by courts, jails, and other justice agencies in each jurisdiction. The evaluation will assess impacts on pretrial decision making, jail detention, appearance rates at court hearings, and arrests. In addition, the analysis will include a special focus on the role of risk-based decision making in the reforms and will assess how the reforms affect racial disparities in the systems.
The results for each jurisdiction will be released in a series of policy briefs in 2018 and 2019.