Prosecutors push back against new bail rule

October 24, 2016
The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council has come out against Indiana Criminal Procedure Rule 26, which sets parameters for the use of bail as a condition of release from incarceration.

In a statement released Monday, the group called on the Indiana Supreme Court to withdraw the new rule. However, what impact the council’s request will have is unclear since the order adopting the new rule was signed by Chief Justice Loretta Rush Sept. 7.

“After reviewing the language of Criminal Rule 26, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council has voted unanimously to object to implementing it and requests that the Supreme Court withdraw the Rule until further research has been completed,” stated IPAC board chairman Dan Murrie. “We have seen no credible data or research that suggests a systemic pretrial detention ‘problem’ exists in Indiana.”

Murrie is the Daviess County prosecutor. Reached this morning, he declined to offer additional comment. A request for comment from the Indiana Supreme Court was not answered by IL deadline.

The new rule was based on the recommendations of a special study committee convened by the Supreme Court to examine pretrial release. The Committee to Study Evidence-Based Pre-Trial Release was charged with evaluating and studying the implementation of risk assessment tools used to determine whether the arrestee presents a flight risk or danger.

Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck chaired the study committee. He could not be reached for comment on IPAC’s statement by IL deadline.

A pilot project testing the risk-assessment tools was launched in a handful of Indiana counties earlier this year. The counties were selected to use and review the effectiveness of the Indiana Risk Assessment System, Pretrial Assessment Tool.  

The new rule does not mandate that trial courts not impose bail but does say that arrestees who do not pose a substantial risk of flight or danger should be released without having to post money or surety bond. Also, it encourages courts to use evidence-based tests to determine the risk an arrested individual poses if released from custody. This part of the rule takes full effect Jan. 1, 2018.


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