Penn Law’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice has joined the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice, a group of more than 30 research, technical assistance, policy, and advocacy organizations that will work to advance pretrial justice nationally and in more than 35 states across the country. The Partnership is funded by Arnold Ventures, a philanthropy that seeks to improve lives by investing in evidence-based solutions that maximize opportunity and minimize injustice.
Arnold Ventures is generously funding two Quattrone Center projects: a study on indigent defense led by Penn Law Professor David Abrams, which involves giving better information to public defenders on likely sentences to facilitate plea negotiations; and a study led by Quattrone Center Academic Director and Penn Law Senior Fellow Paul Heaton, which measures how different structures for staffing indigent clients’ cases affect case outcomes.
The Quattrone Center has conducted groundbreaking, high-impact work on pretrial justice. For example, the Center’s 2017 report, “The Downstream Consequences of Misdemeanor Pretrial Detention”, continues to impact policy decisions in that jurisdiction; in February, newly elected judges in Harris County voted to approve comprehensive reforms to the county’s bail system that would severely curtail the number of indigent people held solely due to an inability to post bail for misdemeanor offenses. And two Quattrone Center studies were cited last week in a high-profile action filed by the ACLU against the Philadelphia courts alleging constitutional violations within the city’s bail system.
As part of the National Partnership, the research and findings of Quattrone Center studies will be shared with other organizations seeking information on pretrial justice to more directly inform their scholarship, practice, and policy. For more details and a list of members, please visit the National Partnership website.