At its public meeting on January 19 in San Francisco, Judicial Council members will hear a presentation from Dr. Edward J. Latessa, a nationally recognized expert on the promising use of evidence-based practices in pretrial risk assessment.

At its August meeting, the council received a report on a similar subject, the California Risk Assessment Pilot Project. That project explored how evidence-based practices, including the use of risk and needs assessment information, can reduce recidivism and improve public safety. The report found that the use of risk and needs assessment tools in the pilot counties served as a good predictor of future noncompliant behavior and can inform the courts and probation departments regarding the most effective supervision terms and conditions to improve outcomes for adult felony probationers.

The presentation comes in the wake of the Chief Justice’s formation of the Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup, which will study current pretrial detention practices and provide recommendations for potential reforms by December 2017.

Other items on the January 19 council meeting agenda include:

Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Initiative: The council will receive an update from the initiative’s steering committee, which is focused on improving court and community practices to keep kids in school and out of the justice system by bringing attention to the connections between trauma, truancy, chronic absenteeism, and the impact of exclusionary school discipline practices on court-involved youth.

Court Forms for Proposition 64: The council will consider four optional forms to enable petitioner/applicants to file for resentencing, dismissal, and record sealing under the “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act.”

Court Technology Needs: The council will consider one-time allocations for the Superior Court of Humboldt County and the Superior Court of Madera County to address information technology infrastructure needs.

The meeting agenda and council reports have been posted online, and a link to the live videocast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website on the day of the meeting.