A local team from Alamance County was among 18 counties invited to attend Attorney General Josh Stein’s Roundtable on Pretrial Release and Accountability. Included in the local team were the Sheriff, the District Attorney, the Magistrate, our Clerk of Superior Court, our Chief Superior Court Judge and Chief District Court Judge; as well as the two Stepping Up Project Coordinators from the Sheriff’s Office. The team spent the day hearing from the Attorney General and his staff, as well as a host of experts with regard to current law and practice in North Carolina and across the nation. Select programs from across the state were showcased relative to successful pretrial release programs and work being done as an alternative to incarceration for certain non-violent, misdemeanant type crimes. Alamance County Stepping Up Initiative was one of those showcased.
The local team continues to meet around local pretrial release strategies aimed at decreasing jail population and reducing the negative impact for those arrested for certain low level crimes. By late January, the team had already implemented ‘first appearances’ for misdemeanor defendants within 72 hours of booking. Additional reform strategies are underway in Alamance County as part of The Stepping Up Initiative.